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Perk’s Reward-Centric Mobile Browser Now Blocks Unwanted Ads

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Austin-based incubator Jutera Labs is putting even more of its weight behind Perk, a rewards-centric mobile web browser that blocks out ads when used on tablets.

Perk, which originally started out as a way to give consumers coupons, discounts or airline miles while browsing the web, is now blocking ads. While companies like AdBlock have built up strong web-based businesses with more than 200 million downloads, Perk co-founder Julian Frachtman says that there’s a window of opportunity to do the same thing on tablets, especially as they cannibalize PC usage.

The company partners with affiliate networks to give Perk users deals at about 2,000 online stores. Those stores include big brands like Amazon, Target, Best Buy and Starbucks. There are also deals for frequent-flier miles at airlines like Delta, US Airways and Alaska Airlines and charitable donations to non-profits like the American Cancer Society.

Users can explicitly opt-in to these rewards, and there’s a shopping icon in the app’s top bar that lets users scroll through different rewards available to them based on points they’ve earned by browsing the web.

“When people shop online or when they do research online or take other actions like watch videos and fill out surveys, they can redeem these actions for cash or frequent flier miles,” Frachtman said. He says one advantage of blocking ads is that the browser will load pages faster.

The app is still quite small at this point with 5,000 monthly actives, but Frachtman said that once they figure out the lifetime value of a typical Perk user, they can use performance marketing techniques to grow the base. For now, Perk is only available for iOS, but the company plans to bring it to Android in a month-and-a-half.

Jutera has raised about $1 million in funding and the company’s employee base is split between Austin, Texas and Bangalore, India.

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