GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 23, 2015 – Benefit, a pre-paid mobile wallet application where everyday transactions result in a donation or contribution, today announced it closed a $900,000 funding round, which will help expand the startup’s next phase of software development and expand its reach into new markets with a white-labeled product.
Benefit places more than 100 of the biggest retailers in the world into the mobile wallet game, including Amazon.com, American Airlines, Gap, JCPenney, Lowe’s, Starbucks, Target , Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and more.
Fueled by this rapid pace of growth with major brands, Benefit’s early stage investment was led by Start Garden, an early stage venture capital fund, with additional investment from a variety of private equity partners.
Benefit creates a seamless checkout process. Users can purchase discounted e-gift cards on the app, while waiting in a checkout line, and instantly redeem them on-site. Benefit passes the discounted rate to the cause of the users choice. This can be a school, non-profit or a personal life expense, like a mortgage or health care premium. Benefit users become loyal shoppers because when they checkout using the app, they are supporting a cause that is important to them.
“Life is expensive, and most of our money is spent purposefully, whether it’s paying for a child’s education and field trips, or health care and the mortgage bill, Benefit empowers users to make those important payments by enabling them through everyday purchases,” said Derik Lolli, founder and CEO of Benefit Mobile. “With this new round of funding, we will establish Benefit as a comprehensive mobile payments platform on which private organizations and enterprise can offer valuable benefits to employees or customers.”
When users choose to fund life’s expenses on their iPhone or Android device, Benefit and its retail partners contribute up to 25 percent of those everyday transactions back, which can be applied to the things that matter most to each user.
“We are very excited about Benefit Mobile and how their platform can build brand loyalty while empowering intentional contributions to a charity or life expense. They have put together a great technology with an extremely scalable platform that appeals to retailers and integrates with large, corporate environments,” said Kim Pasquino, investment director at Start Garden. “Benefit is perfectly positioned to leverage the emerging mobile wallet trend in an entirely new way. Start Garden and our co-investors recognize the value Benefit is bringing to this market and looks forward to assisting Derik and his team with scaling and market adoption.”
Users can discover how to Pay with Purpose and see a full retailer list at www.benefit-mobile.com. In addition, retailers, non-profits, schools and enterprise can access marketing tools, videos, helpful instructions for integrating Benefit into their organization.
About Start Garden
Start Garden is an unconventional venture capital fund that invests in more than a hundred ideas a year in small increments. The program brings financial, intellectual and social capital to ideas at the earliest stage by connecting them to the resources of an entire region. Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, it is founded by Rick DeVos who’s past projects included ArtPrize, 5×5 Night, Momentum and Spout.com.
Benefit is a mobile wallet that gives back while you shop, without spending an extra dime. When you use the app at checkout for participating retailers, up to 25 percent of your total purchase goes directly to the cause of your choice. This can be a school, non-profit or your own life expenses, like your mortgage or healthcare. Every purchase makes a difference. For more information about Benefit visit www.benefit-mobile.com.