Groupon gets all the attention, but another deal juggernaut that should be on your radar is New York City-based Next Jump. The company runs group discount shopping programs for 90,000 corporations and organizations, and powers MasterCard’s loyalty rewards program. Investment bankers are sniffing around.
Merchants offer deep discounts through Next Jump as a way to acquire new customers (read my initial profile for more info). Last November, Next Jump started to let people buy things with loyalty points as well. Its 60 million active shoppers are now spending 100 million loyalty points every month (each loyalty point is worth a penny, so that comes to $1 million a month). Before November, they were only burning through about 1 million loyalty points per month. CEO Charlie Kim believes that combining deep discounts with loyalty points is the best way to keep consumers coming back for more.
Next Jump is on a hiring spree. It just hired its first chief financial officer, ex-Googler Angus Kelsall, who used to run Google’s international businesses in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Another new addition to the executive team is Andrew Beranbom (he once ran Yahoo Shopping), who will take on the roles of chief social officer and VP of products. It acquired Y Combinator startup Flightcaster for its talent and plans to hire about 100 more engineers in San Francisco, mostly mobile. They will work under Sandeep Gupta, Next Jump’s chief mobile engineer it nabbed from Yahoo last summer.
Mobile shopping apps are going to be a huge area of concentration for the company this year. Next Jump CEO Charlie Kim derides most mobile shopping apps as either being meer extensions of websites (eBay and Groupon) or “built for the wrong audience—men not women.” He is looking to change that equation.