SavingStar Raises $9 Million to Expand Digital Grocery Savings Service
National digital grocery savings service SavingStar has raised $9 million in Series C financing led by global venture capital firm DCM to support the expansion and growth of its services.
“SavingStar is revolutionizing the grocery promotion industry by making it easy for brands to reward consumers for buying their products, and for shoppers to easily access and redeem those rewards digitally,” said David Rochon, CEO of Waltham, Mass.-based SavingStar. “This round of funding will help SavingStar expand our membership, bring new retailers into our network, and enable us to work with more brands.”
SavingStar was developed to enable shoppers to save money on their groceries – without the need to clip or print paper coupons – by linking special offers found on SavingStar.com, or the company’s iPhone and Android apps, to consumers’ grocery and drug store loyalty cards.
Since its launch in April 2011, 1.5 million people have joined SavingStar and more than 150 brands have run offers on the service. Joining DCM in the round are previous investors Flybridge Capital Partners, First Round Capital, IA Ventures, board member and Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow, and Sir Keith Mills, founder of Loyalty Management Group. Tom Blaisdell, general partner at DCM, will join SavingStar’s board.
“In an increasingly digital world, paper based grocery promotions are ripe for disruption,” said Blaisdell. “SavingStar is uniquely positioned to usher in a new way for CPGs to do business and leverage their marketing dollars, while helping consumers get additional value from their grocery purchases. We’re excited to partner with SavingStar.”
SavingStar’s funding comes as the company recently introduced a new promotional product on its service called “One or Many” – an offer type that enables brands to give shoppers a high value reward for multiple purchases of their products over one or many shopping trips and at one or many stores within SavingStar’s network of over 110 retail banners.
With 24,000 stores in all 50 states, SavingStar’s network is roughly four times larger than any other service offering fully digital savings, according to the vendor. Pepsico’s Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max Quaker and Kellogg’s Special K are brands that have launched “One or Many” on their Facebook fan page and SavingStar.com. For example, from February 21 through March 21 shoppers receive $5 back when spending $20 on any Kellogg's Special K products over any number of shopping trips. This promotion is powered by SavingStar’s unique ability to track purchases based on UPC level data. Rather than being given at checkout, all SavingStar rewards are deposited into users’ SavingStar accounts, which can then be cashed out with a transfer to their bank or PayPal account, converted to an Amazon gift card or donated to the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization, American Forests, to help plant trees.
“SavingStar is always looking to bring more value to our service,” added Rochon. “Our new ‘One or Many’ offer gives brands a more efficient way to offer rewards for purchases over an extended period of time without the cost and hassle of traditional programs where shoppers manually type in barcodes on a company’s website to keep track of their purchases. Our solution makes it effortless for both consumers and CPGs.”