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Loyalty marketing platform AppCard raises $20M series B to prepare for mobile commerce revolution

AppCard, a mobile-first loyalty marketing program for small and medium-sized retailers, is announcing a $20 million Series B round, led by Alexander Rittweger and PLDT capital. PLDT Capital is the investment arm of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT, NYSE: PHI, PSE: TEL). Existing investors Founders Fund (Peter Thiel), Innovation Endeavors (Eric Schmidt), and Jerry Yang also participated in the round.

AppCard essentially connects users with their favorite retail stores, sending personalized offers to their phones and killing coupon-clipping. The more you shop at your favorite stores, the better the offers you get, along with targeted promotions from other stores that should interest you. You can even get a plastic discount card to swipe at select stores.

Data-driven loyalty

I caught up with AppCard cofounder and CEO Yair Goldfinger to see how it all fit together, and why a loyalty startup targeted at small and mid-sized businesses was set for rapid expansion. In an email, Goldfinger explained the way AppCard works: “Our capture technology is a small hardware device installed at retail stores. It ‘copies’ the receipt data and sends it to our servers for analysis. With the hardware we place at the retail store, we are able to identify a customer by swiping a loyalty card, keying a phone number or tapping a phone. Coupling the receipt information and the user identity we have to build a unique profile at retail stores.”

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