Businesses keep seeking new ways to entice and retain customers to physical stores. Advice Wallet, the brainchild of Stas Matviyenko and Anna Polischuk, launched last October, is another offering in this, providing a platform for rewarding loyal customers with points for repeat business. The service has proven popular, reaching the 40K-user mark in the first 6 months after it officially launched.
At the moment, Advice Wallet offers free Android and iOS apps that allow users to earn rewards by scanning a QR code at the store or restaurant. Once users have accumulated enough points, they can then exchange it for products or services. In addition to racking up points through loyalty, customers can earn their way to rewards by recommending to their online contacts (a Facebook profile is required to access the service). To businesses, they are offering the ability to send push notifications to customers and analytics to track the success of various awards, as well as customer activity.
One of the most significant competitors to Advice Wallet in this market is Shopkick, which partners with stores like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Old Navy, and others to use iBeacons to offer customers rewards for merely entering a store. With more than a million downloads in the Google Play store, they have established themselves as a leading player in the market.
Advice Wallet kicked off their fundraising with $25K in seed money from private investor Pavel Melnyk. They followed that up with $70K that they obtained from Kiev-based incubator Happy Farm by participating in their program and most recently took $300K from Russian fund Imperious Group at a reported valuation of $2.5 million last August.
For Imperious Group, this last deal was part of an investment spree in Ukrainian startups, as they backed 5 companies with a total of $1.3 million. Other startups receiving funding included Chooos, SimZirok, Hastago, and Bazzilla.