Marqeta raises $14M to overhaul gift cards and rewards

The platform powers the Facebook Card and allows users to store multiple balances

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
May 16, 2013
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Online-to-offline payments and loyalty programs are becoming an increasingly hot space. Back in January, Facebook unveiled its very own Facebook Card, a reloadable gift card of sorts that can store multiple balances and makes it easier for consumers to send friends “gift cards” via Facebook. Now, it turns out that the Facebook Card is powered by Marqeta’s +M platform.

Marqeta announced Thursday that it has raised $14 million in a Series B round from existing investors Greylock IL (an affiliate fund of Greylock Partners) and Granite Ventures, as well as new investor Commerce Ventures, and several angel investors and unnamed strategic investors. The round brings Marqeta’s total raised to $19.6 million.

Founded in 2010, the Emeryville-based company is the creator of the +M platform, which allows consumers to store and redeem gift card values, loyalty rewards, and prepaid card values from multiple retailers and merchants, all on one card or mobile app.

At its most basic level, Marqeta’s platform puts a new spin on the concept of gift cards and loyalty cards. For example, the Facebook Card allows consumers to purchase a gift for a friend—like a $20 gift card to Jamba Juice—and said friend will receive a reloadable card in the mail a few days later. Each card can hold multiple balances from various retailers, and future gift cards will be loaded onto that one card.

But Marqeta’s platform has a number of other use cases. For example, the cards can be used for charitable giving. Organizations and schools can work with retailers so that consumers can designate that a certain portion of each purchase automatically goes to a group or school or their choice.

Whole cities can even join the platform to give visitors and tourists bonuses and extra value on their purchases. For example, Oakland is using Marqeta’s platform for its Explore Oakland program, which gives consumers an extra 25% value on whatever amount they pay toward the area’s restaurants. In other words, if a local resident or visitor pays $400 on local restaurants via Marqeta, the city of Oakland will actually give them an extra $100 to spend.

“Marqeta has assembled a top notch team and is clearly consistent with our investment strategy of finding the next technology leaders in retail, digital marketing, and payments,” said Arnon Dinur, Partner at Greylock IL, in a statement.


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