Kiip, a mobile rewards startup, raises $12 million Series C round

Mobile advertising can be really intrusive. But, if done right, you might not even notice you’re being advertised to. That’s what mobile rewards startup Kiip is all about. It allows advertisers to seamlessly integrate relevant content and rewards into mobile apps. Today, Kiip has announced the close of its $12 million Series C round led by North Atlantic Capital with new investors participating like US Cellular and North Atlantic. That brings its total amount of funding up to $32 million.

To date, Kiip’s rewards platform is embedded in 5,000 mobile apps and delivers anywhere from two to three million rewards every day. Kiip’s mission revolves around something it calls moments marketing, which aims to push rewards at the most relevant moment to the consumer. When an app sees that you just finished running, a brand like smartwater could reward you with a 20% off coupon. Kiip works with brands including Coca-Cola, Smucker’s, Campari, The Home Depot, Marriott, Advil and KitKat.

“It’s a very respectful mobile advertising experience,” Kiip co-founder and CEO Brian Wong told me. “If you think about it, a lot of the ways brands have showed up on mobile in the past has been less than ideal in terms of user experience. It’s usually annoying, not contextual and not respectful of the fact you’re doing something. In this case, you’ve just finished doing something.”

In the last year, Kiip’s revenue has doubled and is on the verge of breaking even, Wong said. The active engagement rate on Kiip rewards is now at 19%, up from the average engagement rate of 12%.

“That means rewards are becoming more relevant to the consumer and people are redeeming them more and more,” Wong said.

With the new injection of funding, Kiip plans to ramp up product development and create better tools for developers because that’s ultimately where the value lies.

“We need developers to continue to succeed in our platform,” Wong said, which includes everything from better analytics tools and ways for them to show rewards in a more native way.

Unlike the value proposition of being there when you’re sharing your life that platforms like Facebook and Snapchat provide, Wong said, “Kiip wants brands to be there when you are living your life.”

[gallery ids="1354599,1354596,1354598"]