Former eBay, Oracle Execs Raise $11 Million For “Gift Network” FreeMonee

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

The merchant-funded incentive space just became more crowded with the launch of FreeMonee. The venture funded firm promises a new approach to the targeting and distribution of merchant-funded discounts through issuers of credit and debit cards:

FreeMonee will basically enable merchants to hand out cash “gifts” directly to individual credit and debit cardholders through participating financial institutions. With said gifts, consumers can purchase anything they choose at the merchant by simply using their card.

The financial institutions deliver the FreeMonee gift notifications to their customers via their normal communication channels and receive a success fee for each gift redeemed.

At the heart of the offering, FreeMonee says, lies its proprietary and patent-pending Adaptive Matching Technology (AMT), which – anonymously – analyzes the transaction data of hundreds of millions of debit and credit card holders and matches merchant gifts with consumer prospects that are likely to redeem based on previous purchasing patterns and predictive analytics. The startup says it has agreements in place with two of the top six card issuers in the United States and is working closely with others.

The merchant-funded space has gained interest among issuers seeking ways to differentiate their card offerings to their cardholders without adding significantly to their rewards program budget line. Among debit issuers, this need has become even more crucial as debit interchange revenue has become threatened under the Durbin amendment. The first live program is expected to launch this summer.

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