PLDT, Loyalty Partner invest $20M in AppCard

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MOBILE-BASED loyalty marketing program AppCard closed its second round of financing with $20 million funded by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and Alexander Rittweger, founder of marketing solutions provider Loyalty Partner.

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On Thursday AppCard, an innovative marketing and loyalty platform for small and medium sized retailers, announced that it had raised $20 million in second tranche or Series B financing led by PLDT and Loyalty Partner.

“The AppCard platform caught our attention because of its advanced technology and creative business model,” said Winston Damarillo, co-managing director of PLDT Capital.

“The leadership is a dream team, consisting of successful tech and loyalty entrepreneurs. We’re excited to bring the benefits of AppCard to the PLDT Group, as well as to consumers and merchants in the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region,” Damarillo said.

AppCard is a loyalty program that market directly to their shoppers in a personalized way. The technology combines smart data capture with artificial intelligence to automate marketing. After developing and optimizing the product to cater to specific retail verticals, AppCard released its latest version in the second half of last year and generated impressive growth. The new funding is intended to fuel that and further develop the technology.

Launched in 2011, AppCard started off with $6.2 million in its Series A or first tranche of financing from Peter Thiel through his Founders Fund, Jerry Yang of Yahoo, and Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors.

AppCard expects its 65-member team headquartered in New York City to grow by 50 percent by yearend.

“I’m convinced that AppCard’s advanced technology will help us build a performance-marketing platform unrivalled in the small and medium-sized business marketplace,” said Rittweger. “I’m excited to marry my global loyalty experience with this team’s exceptional digital experience,” he said.

Rittweger founded PAYBACK, the world’s largest coalition loyalty platform with over 70 million active members in Germany, Italy, India, Mexico and Poland, and sold it to American Express.

By subscribing to AppCard, retailers can use its automated marketing solutions and receive support from account managers. The subscription also allows subscribed members to access data on that side for marketing strategies.

On the consumers’ side, AppCard offers a virtual loyalty program that lets them earn points and get discounts. The app is available on iOs and Android systems.

“We’re fortunate to be able to add strategic investors with deep loyalty and marketing experience,” said Yair Goldfinger, AppCard co-founder and chief executive.

“AppCard continues to deliver on its vision to empower retailers to make data-driven marketing decisions based on shoppers’ buying behaviors,” he said.

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