ETF News

REFILE-Retail rewards app Fetch Rewards raises $210 mln in SoftBank-led round

(Fixes typo in headline)

TOKYO, March 31 (Reuters) - Retail rewards app operator Fetch Rewards has raised $210 million in a Series D funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, its CEO said on Wednesday, valuing the firm at more than $1 billion as it grows rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The app, focused on the U.S. market, awards consumers points for scanning their shopping receipts that can be exchanged for gift cards. The reward scheme has 500 brands, including from PepsiCo and Unilever, and has grown to 7 million monthly active users from 2.5 million at the start of the pandemic.

With fewer advertising avenues as shoppers stay home and as e-commerce and delivery services disrupt retail, “everyone’s looking to connect with their consumers more than ever,” said Fetch Rewards founder and CEO Wes Schroll in an interview. The start-up is loss making, but has annual sales of more than $100 million. It is growing with businesses like restaurants and drug stores and also crunches shopping data to offer retailers and brands insight on purchasing patterns.

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son encouraged the Madison, Wisconsin based startup to look to global expansion, Schroll said, with Fetch Rewards targeting launches in English language markets outside the United States next year.

The second Vision Fund, which had around 40 investments completed or approved in early February, is funded solely by SoftBank and has targeted sectors including healthcare, autonomous driving and online real estate.

Other investors include DST Global and Greycroft. The startup closed a $80 million Series C round in December. (Reporting by Sam Nussey. Editing by Jane Merriman)