CrowdTwist is announcing that it has raised $9 million in Series B funding.
Since the company offers tools for creating online loyalty programs, co-founder and CEO Irving Fain said that a few years ago, CrowdTwist was sometimes “gravitationally lumped into the intense fervor around gamification,” but he pointed to the new funding is a sign that it has a bigger vision, one that can provide “long-term, sustainable value to brands.”
The real key to CrowdTwist’s approach, Fain added, is the fact that it sees loyalty programs as way to gather data about customers across online, offline, mobile, and social channels — and to do so in a way where all the data is opt-in and owned by the brand itself, not a third-party provider.
“In a world where brands want to customize their experience based on who you are and the things that you care about, they need to look at eight or nine different platforms and points of data and recognize they all come from same individual,” Fain said. “Otherwise they’re never going to be able to deliver on the promise of true personalization.”
Using that data to tailor their pitch to different customers can lead to improved sales — the company says its customers see a 20 percent lift in sales on average. Moving forward, Fain said CrowdTwist will be giving businesses “more intelligence” so that they can act on this data.
He argued that since the company was founded in 2009, an increasing number of brands are talking about “multi-channel loyalty” — for example consumer packaged goods brands that sell through supermarkets or drugstores but still want to have a direct relationship with their customers. New CrowdTwist clients include Ultimate Fighting Championship, L’Oreal USA, Sport Clips, and USA Track & Field.
The company was part of the inaugural TechStars program in New York and it raised a $6 million Series A back in 2011. The new round was led by StarVest Partners, with investment from all previous backers, including Fairhaven Capital and SoftBank Capital.