Verizon invests in mobile loyalty start-up
US$400,000 for company that is developing a loyalty and membership card unifying tool
US telco Verizon Communications is investing $400,000 in CardStar, the creator of a mobile application that enables users to consolidate all of their membership cards and loyalty programs into one place.
CardStar says its app will unify frequent flier miles, grocery stores, and other local merchants onto a mobile device.
The investment signals telco firms’ interest in the competitive and rapidly expanding mobile payments scetor.
In addition to consolidating cards, CardStar also offers a back-end system for merchants, who can launch their own promotions, discounts and loyalty programs through CardStar, by alerting users to deals from within the app.
So far, the Boston-based company has signed up 2,000 merchants, including airlines and major chain stores. The app works on Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone and has 700,000 unique users. In March, CardStar raised $1m from Amplifier Ventures, Acta Wireless and LaunchCapital.
The company says that over 1.4 million users have downloaded the app to date -its software extends across platforms including iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
Verizon has recently also announced its partnership in a mobile payments venture also featuring fellow US telcos T-Mobile and AT&T to target the payments market dominance of networks Visa and MasterCard.