Rewards cards are so simple and fun, but such a pain in the ass to have to carry around. Once, in New Orleans, my friend knocked over both our purses while I was in the bathroom. I didn’t find out until the next day, when I had already flown back to New York and she had gone back to California, that she had mixed up some of our stuff and consequently, she ended up with a bunch of my rewards cards. And my favorite lip gloss.
Plink, a finalist at Vator Splash LA this summer, is proposing an obvious but brilliant solution: stop carrying around cards and earn your rewards online for shopping at your favorite offline stores and restaurants. The company announced Wednesday that it’s raised $3 million in Series A funding from Grotech Ventures. The company has raised $4 million altogether.
Since the company launched in January 2012, more than 50,000 consumers have joined and set up accounts to start earning rewards for their offline spending habits. It’s pretty straightforward: you create an account on Plink, link your debit and/or credit card, and start shopping. When you visit a participating retailer like Arby’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Quiznos, and more, you automatically earn points that you can save up and redeem for real rewards, like a $5 Amazon gift card (500 points) or a $10 Macy’s gift card (1000 points). No having to remember to get your card punched.
At Burger King and Arby’s, you can earn 150 points for purchases over $15, and at 7-Eleven, you can earn 100 points for purchases above $10, or 250 points for purchases over $25.
Currently, Plink has nine national brand partners, including 7-Eleven, Burger King, Red Robin, Regal Cinemas, Outback Steakhouse, and Taco Bell, among others. Plink first focused on restaurants and is now turning its focus towards retail companies, with the goal of having a reward for virtually any offline purchase. The new funds from this round will be used to grow the company’s sales, marketing, and development teams, as well as ramp up member acquisition marketing.
Plink recently pitched onstage at Vator Splash LA, and while the company didn’t win, it definitely got some attention.
“Great events like Vator Splash LA are critical for startups to generate awareness,” Plink co-founder and CEO Peter Vogel tells me. “Earlier this year, it was an honor to be selected as one of 10 start-ups as a finalist at Vator Splash LA. The event and the opportunity provided Plink with a unique venue and opened up many doors.”
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