Enabling Technologies

Y-Combinator Backed FiveStars Competes with the Likes of Belly, Raised $16.1 Mn

FiveStars was Co-Founded in 2011 by Victor Ho (CEO) and Matt Doka (CTO). The company has received a total funding of $16.1 Mn through investors Start Fund, Y Combinator, Mayfield Fund, Chamath Palihapitiya, Eric Stein, Vince Monical, Jake Winebaum, DCM, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Ali Patrovi and Hadi Patrovi.

FiveStars is a consumer identity platform that utilizes the power of big data, predictive analytics, and cloud-based marketing automation to personalize commerce in the real world. They seek to make offline transactions as personalized as they are online by building a universal software platform at the merchant POS.

This gives you an overview of their platform:

For Cardholders:

  • Simply pick up a free FiveStars card at one of the company’s participating locations and register with your phone number. 
  • Then immediately start earning rewards at hundreds of places. The same card works everywhere, so you’ll never need to dig around in your wallet again. 
  • If you lose your card, all you have to do is give the cashier your phone number, and you’re good to go. You can even check your balance online after registering your card. 
  • As a bonus you can connect your card to Facebook and opt-in to FiveStar’s sharing features. This lets you earn bonus points for your check-ins and as well as unlock cool milestone messages. 

For Businesses:

  • FiveStar says that its network of customized loyalty programs is extremely simple for busy merchants to use, yet powerful enough to outclass anything even a Fortune 500 has to offer. 
  • FiveStars is an incredibly simple loyalty solution that takes care of everything. fivestars3
  • Once you join the FiveStars network, the company will build a customized loyalty program that is optimized for your business. 
  • You maintain full control. Signup all your customers right from your POS in seconds. FiveStars does all the heavy lifting for you such as provide clear analytics, collect the data and give you great ways to stay in touch with your customers via targeted messages.
  • In addition, FiveStars network comes with thousands of users that are keen to discover and use their card at your store. The company says that its goal is “to generate and maintain buzz around your business to keep your customers coming back again and again and again.” 

Belly, Perka and LevelUp and some of the other companies operating in this space. Belly was found in 2011 by Logan LaHive, debuting with an investment from Lightbank, the venture firm founded by Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell. As a notable achievement, it has recently picked up funding of $10 million from Andreessen Horowitz. Belly has nearly $28 million in total funding from Andreessen Horowitz, 7-Ventures, Lightbank, and others. Belly wants to reinvent customer loyalty rewards through gamification and digital check-ins. The company offers a quick-setup, plug-and-play rewards platform to merchants.

Chiraag Patel

Chiraag Patel is a Senior Reporting Analyst and the Editor of Bitcoin and Virtual Currency channels at Lets Talk Payments. He is an engineer with deep interest in MMORPG, Virtual Banking, Game Currency and Virtual Cash. Chiraag enjoys Reading& Blogging with focus on New Innovation, Technology & Startups in the Payments Space.

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