LONDON — UK-based loyalty app Bink is seeking £25 million in funding to expand to the US and continental Europe.
Bink cofounder and CFO Greg Gormley told Business Insider that the firm will seek venture capital for its Series A round, which it hopes to close by July.
The firm intends to use the capital to open an office in New York by September and take the app live in the United States by spring in 2018.
It will also launch a marketing campaign in the UK, and expand to Spain, Germany, and South Africa in the near future.
The idea behind Bink is simple: users can consolidate all of their existing loyalty cards and points into one app. Crucially, consumers can also securely link their debit and credit cards with Bink, then shop as they usually would and see points and rewards from retailers appear automatically.
Twenty retailers have so far signed up to the app — which has been live in the UK for three months — including supermarket Morrisons, clothes retailer River Island, and Arcadia Group, which houses high-street brands including Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, and Burton.
Visa, MasterCard, and American Express payment cards are all compatible with the platform.
‘8 million people in the UK collected loyalty points a year ago that don’t today’
Gormley told Business Insider that the app had been created in response to the large numbers of people ditching plastic loyalty cards.
He said: “In the UK, there are 8 million people who collected loyalty a year ago that don’t today, because they just find it too difficult to carry around all those plastic cards. They don’t see the value in it, and think the effort is not worth the reward. That’s what we want to reverse. We want to make it nice, simple, and easy for the consumer.”
He said the system is attractive to retailers: “For the retailer, it means that they can now track 100% of your spend, so they can understand you as a customer much better. Whether you’ve spent 99p or £50, they will understand which items you’ve bought and they can then surface offers to you which are relevant.”
The US market is “massive,” Gormley says. “The average US household belongs to 29 loyalty programmes, but they’re only actually active in 12. So that’s 17 programmes which have gone to the trouble of sending out loyalty card and the family becoming disengaged.
“It’s a $US100 billion dollar market worldwide, and it’s growing at a compound rate of between 6% and 10% a year depending on territory.”
The firm has so far raised just under £10 million in seed funding and has a team of 60 people based in the UK.
Gormley says nearly 100,000 users have downloaded the app since in launched in the UK three months ago and Bink is targeting 5 million users by the middle of next year after a marketing campaign.
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