We’ve been tracking a lot of activity in customer loyalty programs in recent weeks, from shopping apps such as Qthru to Madrona Venture Group’s bankrolling of RewardLoop to a new breed of loyalty cards from TangoCard.
Now, here comes another player. Mountain View, California-based FiveStars just scored a big $13.9 million round of cash from former iLike executives Ali and Hadi Partovi, as well as DCM and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company, incubated at Y Combinator, now has raised a total of $16 million.
All Things D reports that FiveStars is different from many new loyalty programs because it integrates directly with retailers’ point-of-sale systems, and it doesn’t require consumers to download apps. All Things D also notes other players in the space, including Pirq, Groupon, LevelUp and Belly.
Interestingly, LevelUp just today announced $9 million in new funding, bringing the total in the company’s parent, Scvngr, to $21 million.
“With FiveStars, you earn rewards by frequenting the places you love,” said FiveStars CEO Victor Ho in a press release. “Meanwhile, every merchant knows that the best marketing tool is word-of-mouth and repeat business from loyal customers. FiveStars enables merchants to amp up these age-old techniques in a world that’s increasingly networked, social and mobile.”
FiveStars says it has tracked more than 3.5 million items purchased by repeat customers at local merchants. Its loyalty cards are accepted at a variety of retailers, from Subway to Round Table Pizza to Tutti Frutti to Baja Fresh.
FiveStars appears to be a cross between Seattle’s Pirq and TangoCard, the latter of which announced venture funding from Google’s Eric Schmidt and others two months ago.
The Partovis, twin brothers who previously sold iLike to MySpace, are well known angel investors. Ali Partovi said they are extremely bullish about the new investment, calling it one of the more significant angel deals they’ve participated in.