Mobile Rewards Startup Kiip Announces Strategic Investment From American Express Ventures

Kiip, a startup that allows brands to connect with consumers through mobile rewards and contests, says it has received a strategic investment from American Express Ventures.

The company raised an $11 million Series B last year and announced in January that ad holding company Interpublic Group (IPG) was part of the round. Given Kiip’s pitch for mobile rewards as a new kind of advertising, the IPG investment seemed natural.

As a strategic backer, American Express isn’t quite as obvious, but I could imagine Kiip expanding its commerce features over time. (The fund was launched specifically to back digital commerce companies.)

In his blog post about the deal, Kiip co-founder and CEO Brian Wong writes, “As Kiip expands into more verticals, becoming even more integrated into peoples’ lives beyond gaming, we have evolved beyond media and advertising into a company that builds value into every moment.”

I asked him about the size of the funding, but he declined to comment. He did offer a few more thoughts in the post:

With Kiip approaching its 3rd anniversary, and celebrating a series of wins, we are excited to announce our latest: an investment from American Express Ventures. They’ll be a part of our incredible roster of strategic investors and I am confident that our ecosystem will become even stronger as a result.

One of those recent wins? The fact that Kiip will power the rewards in Yahoo Japan’s mobile apps.