Cashback News – Aug 17: 8 Startups helping retailers reach customers with digital innovations

CouponsRetailers are trying hard to catch up with consumer demand for products in-store, online, on mobile and other emerging channels. While 90% of US shopping is still done in-store, the value of online, mobile and other channels is increasing quickly. CB Insights recently published a fascinating report on 72 companies using technologies like wearables, augmented reality and beacons to bridge the gap between digital and physical shopping. Today, we’re looking at eight of these tech innovators in the coupons and rewards, and loyalty segments to keep you up-to-date with the latest digital tools for retailers.

Coupons & rewards

Five innovators are included in the coupons and rewards category and several will be new to many of our readers.


AppCard logoNew York and Tel Aviv-based AppCard helps retailers reach and retain customers through loyalty programs, analytics engines, rewards and personalized offers where consumers can earn rewards, build convenient shopping lists and organize their digital receipts on their smartphone or on the web. Launched in 2011, investors include Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang and Peter Thiel.


BuzzMeDo logoBuzzMeDo helps brands and businesses develop one-to-one connections with customers. Based in Kansas City, The company combines the power of text with the features of an app. BuzzMeDo pushes in-the-moment tailored coupons to shopper’s mobile devices when consumers are in-stores or near a competitor. Companies create coupons for existing customers with text or app push messages, and attract new customers with geo-targeted offers near own store or competitor locations. The Smart Targeting feature lets retailers create custom lists by a wide range of customer preferences and information. SparkLabKC is the primary investor.


FiveStars logoFounded in 2011, San Francisco-headquartered FiveStars provides loyalty programs integrated with retailers’ point-of-sale systems, connecting with customers in-store, online and on social media. Shoppers get points for purchases at local businesses using their smart phone or the FiveStars mobile app. In 2015, FiveStars drove 35 million in-store visits across over 10,000 local businesses in the U.S. and Canada. Over 10 million consumers use FiveStars. High-profile investors include DCM Ventures, HarbourVest Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures and Rogers Communications.


ibottaibotta replaces coupons with fun, game-like interactions giving consumers what they actually want: rebates redeemable at all major retailers, and real cash rewards instead of credit or points. Consumers can earn cash back on purchases of groceries, electronics, clothing, gifts, home & office supplies and much more. Based in Denver, ibotta users have earned more than $112.7 million in cashback since the company launched in 2011. The company is funded by 16 individual investors.

Koupon Media

Koupon Media logoBased in Addison, Texas, The Koupon Media provides consumer packaged goods companies and more than 43,000 retailers with wide reach into convenience store retail channels. The company claims to have delivered more than 500 million offers to consumers via its mobile platform across social, email, SMS and app channels. Data generated provides insights to help marketers learn more about customers and build stronger, more effective promotions and campaigns. Launched in 2011Investors include Matthew Pritzker Company, Mercury Fund, Tech Wildcatters and Trailblazer Capital.

Loyalty Programs

CB Insights highlights three loyalty program innovators and we profile them below.


Belly Card logoLaunched in Chicago in 2011, Belly is a digital customer loyalty program that lets retailers offer customizable, unique rewards programs to consumers. The Belly Card offers a single loyalty card or mobile app for more than 6 million active users connected with over 12,000 local businesses. retailers are provided with a dedicated iPad to scan the card or phone and unlimited loyalty cards for members. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Silicon Valley Bank, Lightbank, NEA, DAG Ventures, Cisco and 7-Ventures, LLC.


Dealyze logoDealyze calls itself a “punchcard for the 21st century” using loyalty, email & SMS marketing, referrals and more. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, the company offers white-label customer loyalty programs. Each retailer receives a customized template for point-of-sale display, custom landing page and website plug-in to integrate with company websites so customers can join loyalty programs from anywhere. Dealyze launched in 2014 and lead investor is Y Combinator.


Perkville logoPerkville integrates directly with point-of-sale or scheduling systems and can be customized for any business. Featured in businesses around the world, the Perkville system can drive referrals, reward clients for return visits and purchases, and even generate social media posts. Perkville has 2,083 locations and has generated nearly 350,000 social media posts, more than 290,000 referrals and over 2.4 million member sign-ups since launching in 2010. Headquartered in Oakland, CA, investors include Band of Angels, Keiretsu Forum, Moneta Ventures and Sandhill Angels.

More retail technology innovation ahead

We regularly cover Innovations in new technology and nowhere more than in retail where the impact of new technology is being felt and where investment is critical to success in the future.