Would you like some gamification with your french fries? Well, one San Diego-based startup is willing to bet you just might. Mogl, which describes itself as not only “a party in your wallet” but also a “four letter word you can say in front of your grandma,” wants to turn you into a loyal customer at your local restaurants. Said another way, Mogl is using gamification and a bit of charity to increase engagement and the enjoyability of customer loyalty program for restaurants — all while on the go.
While that may not sound thoroughly appetizing, there are several VC firms that like what Mogl is cooking. Today, the startup announced that it has raised $10 million in a series B round of financing, which brings its total to $12.4 million. The round was led by Sigma, with participation from Austin Ventures and Avalon Ventures. The startup will use the infusion of capital to aid its expansion into new markets, including San Francisco and New York, and ramp up hiring.
As much as both businesses and customers can get excited about the idea behind most loyalty programs, the truth is that not many of them are particularly enjoyable to use. This is the issue that Mogl co-founder Jon Carder says that the team wanted to tackle with Mogl: Making something that their family and friend would actually use without the requisite amount of grumbling.
As of now, Mogl is focused explicitly on the restaurant industry, leveraging game mechanics to offer incentives that encourage repeat visits to their eateries, including 10 percent cash back every time they eat out at participating restaurants, the ability to compete for top spots at each venue with monthly cash jackpots — to name two.
Perhaps the best, or most charitable part, of Mogl’s mission is that it automatically donates a meal to Feeding America through its Meal for a Meal program every time a user spends $20 at participating restaurants. To date, the startup has donated over 26,000 meals. Another aspect of Mogl’s value proposition is that users don’t have to present coupons, loyalty cards, or scan QR codes when they’re out on the town; instead, the startup’s platform tracks credit and debit card transactions and activity so that customers pay as they normally would (with plastic) and earn rewards.
Mogl’s location-based mobile apps are available for iPhone and Android and allow users to find participating restaurants nearby, track cash rewards and jackpots, as well as the number of meals they’ve donated. For restaurants, the startup offers customer analytics and ROI reporting.
Since its launch in April of 2011, MOGL has partnered with 350 restaurants in Southern California and its members have earned nearly $350,000 in rewards to date.
For more, check out Mogl at home here.