These should be trying times for an app whose sole purpose is to collect information on where people travel and reward them for sharing it.
However, not only has Miles, the startup company founded by Jigar Shah, survived the pandemic, it managed to attract new capital from a strategic investor during the months where everyone has been sheltering in place and doing the one thing that should be an anathema to a Shah’s business… staying put.
The idea behind Miles is simple, as Shah puts it, every year consumers travel 25 trillion miles and they pay nearly $18 trillion dollars for the privilege. Miles offers rewards and incentives for different kinds of transportation by working with partners. And the company recently received a strategic investment from Liil Ventures, the corporate investment arm of Mexico City-based MobilityADO.
Already operating in North America and Japan, the company said that it would use the new investment to expand in the European Union and Latin America.
Interestingly, the company adapted to the new shelter in place restrictions put in place to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 as the disease swept across the world by encouraging users to stay at home and spend money with the nearly 200 app partners that are currently signed on to reward Miles users with points.
The company also instituted bonus miles for physical activities like walking, biking, and running giving users a twenty times bonus on the miles they earned.
In all miles users have redeemed over 500,000 rewards and received over $10 million in discounts. And the company is expanding its services through a partnership with the Jacksonville Transportation Authority to provide rewards to app-users that avail themselves of public transportation options.
While Miles rewards all travel, it gives bonuses for different, greener modes of transportation. Public transit riders can accumulate three times the Miles that would be awarded for their trip. Bike riders, pedestrians and joggers earn ten times the Miles points.
To date the company has raised roughly $7.4 million, according to Crunchbase.