What does brand loyalty mean even more? Application downloads, points, stars and other complex reward systems have not only spawned their own media empires trying to decipher them, but they have failed their most basic goal: to establish a stronger link between a brand and its consumers.
Bumped wants to reinvent the space of loyalty by giving consumers shares of the companies they buy. Through the Bumped app, consumers choose their favorite retailer in different categories (think Lowe vs. Home Depot in Home Renovation), and when they spend money in this store using a credit card bound, Bumped will automatically give them ownership. ]
The Portland-based start-up, founded in March 2017, announced today the beta launch of its service, as well as a $ 14.1 million A series led by Dan Ciporin at Canaan Partners, as well as existing seeds. Peninsula Ventures, Commerce Ventures and Oregon Venture Partners.
Bumped is a brokerage firm, and the company said it managed all the licenses of FINRA and SEC. When consumers spend money at participating retailers, they receive bona fide actions in the companies that they buy. Each retailer determines a loyalty rate, which is at least 1% and can go up to 5%. Bumped then buys shares in the public market to reward consumers, and in cases where she has to buy split shares, she will take care of all these logistical aspects.
For founder and CEO David Nelsen, the start-up is not only commercially sensible, it can have a wider social impact on the democratization of market access. 39, public actions. "Many brands need to build a genuine relationship with customers," he explained. "Brands that have a relationship with consumers, beyond the price, thrive." With Bumped, Nelsen's goal is to "align the interests of a shareholder and a consumer, and everyone wins."
His mission is to engage more Americans in the stock markets and the power of property. He notes that far too many people fail to put up their 401k, and do not invest regularly in the stock market, citing a statistic that only 13.9% of people directly own a share of stock. By offering shares, he hopes Bumped will inspire consumers to think in a whole new way about their relationship with companies. As Nelsen said, "we are talking about bringing a whole new class of shareholders to the market."
This is not the first time that Nelsen has built a business in the loyalty space. Previously, he was co-founder and CEO of Giftango, a prepaid digital gift card platform acquired by InComm at the end of 2012.
This experience helped the company build a complete list for the launch. Bumped has 19 brands participating in the beta, including Chipotle, Netflix, Shake Shack, Walgreens and The Home Depot. Six other brands are currently hiring contracts with the company.
Ciporin of Canaan said that he wanted to finance something new in the loyalty space. "There has just been a total lack of innovation in the loyalty space," he explained. "I think that Robinhood meets the airline's point programs." One of Ciporin's key decision makers has been academic research, such as this paper by Jaakko Aspara, which shows that becoming a shareholder of a company tends to make consumers more loyal. these marks.
In the short term, Bumped is moving towards a crowded loyalty space that includes companies like Drop, which I've already covered on TechCrunch. Nelsen believes that the stock ownership model is an "entirely different mechanism" of loyalty, which makes it "hard to compare" to other loyalty platforms.
In the longer term, he suggests exploring how to offer this type of stock loyalty model to small and medium-sized companies, a much more complex challenge given the lack of liquidity in their markets fellows. Today, the company is exclusively focused on publicly traded companies.
Bumped today counts 14 people and is targeting a team of about 20 employees.