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A number of startups are building their businesses around the concept of rewarding consumers for their comments about companies on social media, but Brandbuddee says it’s taking a different approach to the issue.

“Our company is about sharing any type of story from a brand,” says co-founder Andy Karuza. “We’re also a localized discovery platform for users to find local events, and an interesting story about a business, such as Starbucks launching a new flavor.”

The Seattle-area startup recently secured a $50,000 investment from an unnamed investor. Its business model is based on rewarding consumers with VIP awards and products in exchange for sharing stories about their favorite companies, similar to local start-up Qoiza.

This is how Brandbuddee works for participating companies:

  1. A company creates story or highlight about its product or service and provides a link to a website or social media page.
  2. “Brandbuddees” see the story and share it via social media.
  3. Each time a friend or follower clicks the link on social media, the brandbuddees earn a point to be used for awards and products.

The process is currently free for both consumers and companies.

Karuza, Andrew Vest and Keith Prunella are the founders. Karuza and Vest founded the Seattle-based digital consulting company The Agency LLC, while Prunella is a software development manager at VMC. Brandbuddee currently has two employees focused on account management/social media and development.

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