Kiip, a startup allowing brands to promote themselves in mobile apps through rewards and contests, has raised $11 million in Series B funding.
The company sells its approach as a smarter, more engaging approach to mobile ads, where developers can give their users real-world rewards for achievements in their apps. Kiip says it’s giving out an average of five rewards every second across more than 400 apps, leading to more than 100 million “moments of happiness” in the United States every month.
The most obvious use case is games, where for example players could receive rewards for beating a level, but Kiip is expanding beyond games to other areas like fitness apps. Co-founder and CEO Brian Wong says that expansion is one of the main goals with the new funding.
Another goal is turning Kiip into more of a consumer brand. Unlike most mobile ad companies, Kiip doesn’t just sit in the background — it’s very visible to consumers during the rewards process. Wong says that’s paying off in introducing people to the Kiip concept. He claims Kiip has an initial engagement rate of 18 to 22 percent, but that number increases to more than 50 percent among users who have previously redeemed a Kipp reward.
“Users are learning to trust us,” Wong says.
With that goal of building up Kiip as a consumer brand, the company plans to launch a new Kiip app, which it’s also calling “Kiipsake”, later this month. Users will be able store Kiip rewards and browse apps that offer those rewards. Wong says this is a response to “bottom up demand” from users, who were already creating their own unofficial list of Kiip apps to seek out.
The company raised a $4 million Series A back in April 2011, and we reported last month that it was raising another $8 to 10 million round. This new funding was led by Relay Ventures, with participation from previous backers Hummer Winblad Venture Partners and True Ventures.