There are over 100,000 membership organizations in the US today. The vast majority of these organizations likes Museums, clubs, labor unions etc. offer discounts to the users at the places they shop everyday. Over 200 Million Americans have 3 or more memberships. The average Larky member has 7 memberships with greater than 500 discounts each. A survey has revealed that the users are generally not aware of the discounts that they can claim and on how to claim the discounts from their member organizations. Larky seeks to be an organization to fix this issue with regards to the member discounts.
Larky was founded in January 2012 by Andrew Bank and Gregg Hammerman. The Ann Arbor, Michigan based startup received $650K in funding through investors North Coast Technology and First Step Fund. Larky aggregates the discounts from over 2000 most popular membership organizations. This includes big name groups like AARP, AAA, USAA, AMA, VISA, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, American Express, Costco, AFL-CIO and various other museums & alumni associations.
Larky is also embedding the discounts into the users daily routine. Some features of their platform:
- When the user is physically near a merchant where the user deserves a discount, the Larky will remind the user on the same. When the user searches the web Larky will tell which of the member sites will exactly provides the user discounts.
- When the user pays online or with the mobile or credit card, then Larky will prompt the user if a discount is due.The discount should be automatically included into the transaction.
- When the user books a flight, hotel etc. online he should be automatically able to see which of the sites would be able to give a member discount.
“120 Mn Americans are members of three or more membership associations. Sometimes its alumni associations and professional associations, sometimes museums and cultural institutions, and even credit cards and health insurance. We’re all entitled to hundreds of discounts we don’t even know exist,” said Andrew Bank. He sees Larky being directly integrated with mobile and online payment systems such as PayPal or Google Wallet in the future. “When mobile and online payment systems get more mature, they’ll all have APIs. And we don’t even really care who wins – we can integrate with all of them,” he explained.
Larky has started out by aggregating over 2000 member organizations. The company offers around 60000 discounts spread over close to 10000 merchants. Singing into Larky is simple as it requires only the membership credentials. Post signing in one can select the merchants to chose the discount from. There is no need of any account numbers or passwords. There is a search option for finding the possible discounts / membership organizations. Whats unique about Larky is its ability to bring it all - the membership organization, the discounts etc. - together in one place.
Larky allows its users to set their preferences in the member organization and discounts and forget it. Larky will alert the user when he nears a discount automatically. There is no need to check in or start up the app.
Larky has opened up its platform and is seeking partnerships with many different consumer applications, payment platforms, card linked networks, data systems, cloud based devices, mobile responsive plugins etc. Larky is looking at partnerships with anyone who can leverage Larky’s data and platform to enhance the user experience.
The company plans on selling its analytics data back to the member organizations enabling them to see the performance of their rewards system and consumer behavior data such as how much each member is saving. Currently, Larky is completely free for all consumers. It has a website as well as a mobile application.