Kiip raises US$11m in Series B funding to move beyond gaming

17 Jul 2012

Mobile rewards network Kiip has raised US$11m in Series B funding. The company, which works with major brands and more than 400 games and app developers, will use the funding to move beyond games and into more consumer-facing products.

Eamonn Carey, a former Irish journalist who set up his own digital media agency Random Thoughts in 2003 and also sold his stake in a Dubai-based digital media company, is driving the international expansion of London-based Kiip, which raised US$11m in Series B funding today.

Carey, who spoke recently at dot conf in Dublin told “I’m running Kiip’s global expansion from our London office – we just announced our second round of funding today – bringing the total funding received to more than US$15m.”

Carey joined Kiip last year and while he acknowledges it’s a long way from RTÉ Radio, it’s been a brilliant journey so far.

“Ireland and the rest of Europe are a big part of our expansion plans – not only for brands and advertisers but also for game and app developers.

The Kiip rewards network redefined mobile advertising and rewards by aligning the interests of users, major brands and game/app developers by linking moments of achievement with rewards from major brands.

Kiip now works with more than 40 brands, including American Apparel, Best Buy, Disney, Dr Pepper, PepsiCo, Popchips, Sony Music,, Wrigley and many others.

More than 400 games and apps employ the Kiip network, including multiple games from leading developers such as Kira Games (Unblock Me), Playforge (Zombie Farm) and Get Set Games (Mega Jump and Mega Run).

‘Moments of happiness’

The latest funding round was led by Relay Ventures, with participation from existing Series A investors Hummer Winblad and True Ventures, and others.

The investment will be used to help the company expand the Kiip rewards network beyond gaming, launch new consumer-facing products to engage millions of consumers that receive Kiip rewards every month, and reinforce Kiip’s position as the global leader in mobile rewards.

“It is an honour to receive this infusion from such a renowned group of investors, with the insight and influence to help the Kiip team lead the charge to bring rewards into everyday life,” said Brian Wong, CEO and co-founder of Kiip.

“It has been a tremendously rewarding team effort to build an entirely new industry category that created the coveted win-win-win. Developers monetise and ‘kiip’ their users longer, brands reach potential consumers while building affinity, and mobile users benefit from rewards that augment their existing experiences. The capital and guidance of our new and existing funding partners will help us create a new, exciting chapter for our company.”

Currently, the company is tracking more than 100m “moments of happiness” (the user’s achievement of performance and progress milestones in the games or apps) every month in the US alone on more than 400 apps, giving out an average of five rewards every second.

With an initial engagement rate of 18 to 22pc, the platform’s rate balloons to 50pc for users who have previously redeemed a Kiip reward.

The new investment round will also be used to support the launch of the company’s new Kiip app, a mobile rewards wallet that consumers can use to store their Kiip rewards while exploring new apps and games that are Kiip-enabled.

The Kiip app, also called ‘Kiipsake’, will be released in late July 2012, and is primarily designed to bring convenience to users that redeem Kiip rewards.

Apps icons image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years