Last we heard from SavingStar, the paperless coupon and loyalty service for grocery stores, it had just raised $9 million in Series C financing from DCM, Flybridge, First Round, IA Ventures, Buddy Media Founder and CEO Michael Lazerow, among others.
Today, SavingStar is adding another $9 million to the bank, both from its existing investors and newcomers like corporate benefits provider Edenred and American Express Ventures. It is the company’s fourth round of financing since launching two years ago and brings its total capital to just over $27 million.
Since its launch in April 2011, SavingStar has grown to over three million members and today, more than 200 brands are offering grocery savings through its mobile loyalty service. In turn, the service is now connected to grocery and drugstore loyalty cards at over 24,000 stores and more than 100 retailers and is one of the only digital coupon services to offer mobile apps for both Android and iOS.
SavingStar has been able to stand out from the ranks of eCoupon players by offering a model that enables customers to collect rewards earned over multiple trips to the grocery store, while allowing them to decide how they want to cash in their rewards — whether it be a bank or PayPal deposit, a donation to charity or a gift card.
With its new funding in tow, SavingStar is also announcing a significant update to its mobile apps, which now allow users to access deals on their phone while shopping, receiving $10 cash-back reward for spending $40 on Weight Watchers or $5 back for spending $14 on Dole Fruit, for example. When shoppers use their grocery loyalty card, SavingStar sends them an email once the purchase has been recorded and, once users reach the purchase threshold, the service deposits the credit into their accounts. Users can then cash out as they see fit, without having to manually enter purchase data or making trips to the printer.
As part of its strategic investment from Edenred, the two companies plan to launch a joint venture called NutriSavings, which aims to help businesses promote healthy eating among its employees to help reduce healthcare-related expenses. When the service launches this summer, employees who opt into the program will be able to set objectives and measure the nutritional quality of their shopping carts through a numerical score that will be accessible online and via its mobile apps.
In turn, employers can offer incentives and rewards to employees who meet their target objectives, along with the access to SavingStar’s digital coupons and educational videos that will help demonstrate the benefits of a healthier diet.
For more, find SavingStar at home here.