Tango Card, the Seattle gift card operator, has raised an additional $1 million in equity and debt financing led by Western Technology Investments, GeekWire has learned. The money follows a $1.1 million round that the company closed earlier this year.
In addition to the cash, Tango Card has entered into a new deal with Microsoft in which the gift card provider will help anchor a new redemption center for Bing Rewards. In a blog post today, Bing product marketing manager Alex Danskin notes that the addition of Tango Card will provide more flexibility, since users can choose to have their gift cards applied to Target, Home Depot Nike, Starbucks and other retailers. Danskin also noted the company’s strong mobile offerings. But the relationship with Bing goes deeper than that.
“We are the infrastructure behind that platform,” said Tango Card founder David Leeds. “So, when a Bing Rewards member takes the points that they’ve earned through Bing search, and they redeem those points for a Tango Card or a Groupon card or a Redbox card or MS points — we are basically the engine that’s fulfilling that behind the scenes for Bing.”
The company has been working on integrating with loyalty-based programs from companies such as Cozi and FedEx. (FedEx is now the company’s biggest customer). And, given the partnership with Bing, Leeds sees additional opportunities at Microsoft.
“For what we do, there is just a lot of areas within Microsoft that are hugely relevant — I mean MS points, the Xbox team, some of the new things going on with Skype and the new, ironically named, Tango release for Windows Mobile,” said Leeds.
Tango Card faces competition from large gift card operators, including Visa and MasterCard. In an interview with GeekWire in June, Leeds noted that Tango Card was different from its rivals.
“It is the only multi-purpose card that has this cash-back option, and it is the only flexible card that doesn’t have fees of any kind,” said Leeds, adding that American Express or Visa typically institute fees of seven to 13 percent for purchasers of gift cards.
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