CardStar raises $1 million

Chris Caceres · March 30, 2010 · Short URL:

Startup wants to put all your store membership/discount cards into a mobile application

CardStar, a startup which builds a mobile app for storing reward and membership card information, has raised $1 million in Series A funding.  Amplifier Ventures lead the round and was joined by Acta Wireless and LaunchCapital.  CardStar recently graduated from Amplifier's Business Accelerator Program.

CardStar is trying to eliminate a nuisance we've probably all become familiar with - carrying around a ton of loyalty cards for the different stores we shop at.  I know I've got several of them packed in my wallet which include CVS Pharmacy, BevMo, Lunardi's Coffee, Safeway, just naming a few.  Anyways, CardStar lets you enter this information into its mobile app so when you are at a store, you can simply retrieve your info from your phone.  Once you enter the info a scannable barcode shows up so a teller can scan directly from the image on your phone, eliminating the need to carry around that extra card in your pocket.  

Beyond digital mobile applications, CardStar also offers a physical 'master card' which lets users enter six loyalty cards and makes them scannable through one barcode - comes in handy for users who don't have an iPhone or iPod touch.  

The Canton, Conn.-based company says it's seen tremendous growth in the U.S. and worldwide.  Its free product can be used in every state here in the U.S. and throughout 156 other countries worldwide.  Right now, the company only has an iPhone version, but plans to use the financing to launch Android and Blackberry versions.  

“Amplifier Ventures shares our vision for the future of mobile and loyalty cards, and we’re very appreciative of their support to deliver a globally engaging application,” said Andy Miller, founder and CEO of CardStar in a press release.

With the data CardStar collects from its users, you can see the possibilities of how it can monetize.  The application knows a users location, so it could send ads and deals to consumers based on which store they are at.  Also, depending on what stores a user is shopping at and what items they are purchasing, stores could send highly targeted ads to potential buyers.  The company has seen over one million downloads according to several reports.

CardStar isn't the only player in the space.  Scanaroo develops a very similar iPhone app - the key difference in business model though, Scanaroo isn't free, it costs $0.99.

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