Kard Finalizes $23M Series A to Support Card Rewards After a Year of Steady Growth

Kard, the rewards-as-a-service API that connects modern card issuers to the brands their cardholders really love, recently announced that it has secured $23 million via a Series A round led by Tiger Global.

Also participating in the investment round are Fin Capital, s12f, and existing investor Underscore VC, which led Kard’s seed round; as well as “a number of strategic angel investors.”

Kard will use the proceeds “to expand its merchant network and product suite, as well as bolster hiring efforts across all departments, including engineering, product, sales, and account management.”

Kard claims to be “the first rewards platform that specifically services the entire spectrum of card issuers, including traditional banks, neobanks, banking-as-a-service providers, and the broader fintech market — anyone building a unique card experience.”

Rewards programs have become table stakes “for cardholders in a crowded and competitive market, but building a rewards program from scratch requires finding and integrating with retail partners, matching card transaction data to specific locations, negotiating ad rates, managing settlements, and more.”

Kard’s capabilities handle all of this, “allowing any card issuer to seamlessly embed a fully customized and tailored rewards solution into its own user experience, optimized for its unique customer base.”

Ben Mackinnon, CEO of Kard, stated:

“The response from both sides of our market has been amazing to see. We knew from the beginning that our platform would offer a major upgrade compared to others in the space, and the traction we’ve seen in the last year alone has validated our expectations. We make rewards simple for everyone, from our issuers and merchant partners to everyday cardholders. I’m excited for this next stage of growth as we scale our product functionality and drive increasingly more value to cardholders.”

Kard launched its rewards API in early 2020, “partnering with Varo as well as other large US neobanks that were attracted to Kard’s unique capabilities and customizable rewards program.”

Over two dozen new partners partnered with Kard in 2021, which also “marked Kard’s expansion into the broader fintech and banking-as-a-service industries.”

Marqeta partnered with Kard “to offer its card issuing customers seamless integration of the Kard platform into their offering.”

Kard now powers rewards for more than 10 million cardholders, “processing more than 50 million transactions per month, nearly a ten-fold increase in the last six months alone.”

Unlike other rewards platforms, Kard “enables issuers to build unique rewards and loyalty experiences quickly and easily, by leveraging Kard’s APIs and network of retail and merchant partners.”

Card issuers like Varo “embed a rewards program completely tailored to their unique customer experiences in a matter of weeks instead of months.”

Cardholders can “earn instant cashback, fractional shares of stock, redeemable points, and even cryptocurrency.”

Kard handles the full backend, “allowing issuer partners to focus on what they do best: building amazing experiences for cardholders.”

Issuers see an increase in total customer “spend by as much as 37% after rolling out a Kard rewards program.”

Behzad Behrouzi, VP of Product Management at Varo, added:

“Unlike other solutions, Kard’s model allowed us to build our own bespoke experience and control how our customers engage with rewards. Our ability to tailor the experience to our customers, combined with Kard’s growing merchant relationships, got us excited about working with Kard. We look forward to continuing our partnership.”

Kard also works with “a network of merchant advertisers, helping them build targeted offers to appeal to the right shopper at the right time and capture incremental market share within a highly desirable audience.”

Offers are translated into each card issuer’s native format — cashback, points, and more — and the cardholder experience “is completely frictionless.”

Kard’s partner national merchants, advertising agencies, small e-tailers, and in-house digital advertising teams “are seeing 11% higher average order value, higher frequency of purchase, and 10:1 to 15:1 returns on ad spend.”

Alex Cook, Partner at Tiger Global, said:

“Kard has created an innovative and easy-to-use platform that allows card issuers to build customizable reward systems, while also providing merchants a way to capture market share and drive revenue. Kard recognizes the importance of a competitive rewards program to issuers, merchants, and cardholders, and we’re excited to partner with the Kard team.”

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