CampusLive Raises $3.1 Million To Help Brands Connect With College Students

CampusLive, a college-focused startup that’s part Groupon, part free ‘Offers’ provider (more on that later), has closed a $3.1 million funding round led by Highland Capital Partners and Charles River Ventures.

CampusLive is all about showcasing special offers to students to help brands increase awareness and engagement. But the site differs from Groupon and other deal sites because no money actually changes hands — instead, students are given special deals (or are entered into a contest) in return for clicking a brand’s ‘Like’ button, completing a branded game, or signing up for a news letter.

After signing up for the service and picking your school, CampusLive will present you with a main Challenge for the day, along with several additional challenges if you’d like to complete more. Challenges sometimes will offer a guaranteed, small incentive alongside a sweepstakes. For example, you might see a big banner for Jason’s Hamburger Stand offering students a $5 dollar coupon — and a chance to win a trip to Hawaii — in return for simply clicking the business’s Like button.

Users sign up with their email address, and the site regularly sends them new offers. CampusLive charges brands and businesses for each completed challenge (as opposed to per impression), at a rate that varies depending on what the challenge entails and what kind of prizes the business is offering.

CEO Boris Revsin says that since launching the service November 15, over 100,000 students have completed a challenge and that nearly 500,000 challenges have been completed overall (obviously some students have done many challenges, and some only did one, but Revsin says the majority have come back for a second Challenge). The bar graph below shows the breakdown of how many users came back to complete ‘n’ many offers.

My biggest gripe with the service right now is the fact that brands can offer challenges that only give you a chance at being rewarded (e.g. “Become a Facebook Fan and get a chance to win $500!”). Which sounds a whole lot like the countless spammy emails and flyers all of us have learned to ignore over the years. Revsin says that this is just an option though, and the site also uses virtual currency to keep users engaged even if they aren’t guaranteed a deal.