A year later, it was already reaching 30 million consumers through relationships with more than 100 card-issuing banks and 100 merchants (see notes 1, 2). That’s unheard of growth in financial services. If just one-third of the 30 million customers look at their statements each month, Cardlytics would have more unique visitors than Groupon (note 3), which has been called the “fastest growing company ever.”
We’re not saying Cardlytics has anywhere near the $60-70 million in monthly revenues attributed to Groupon, nor the $6 billion valuation. But enough similarities can be seen in their business models that I’d be very, very happy if I were an early Cardlytics investor (note 3). For example:
- Both earn revenue directly from merchants who pay only when sales are made
- Both leverage online channels to deliver significant discounts to targeted users
- Both are first movers with aggressive growth tactics
And Cardlytics is different too:
- Cardlytics focus (for now) is national merchants, whereas Groupon is closely associated with local merchants (but is adding national merchants)
- Cardlytics can target much more precisely and keep offers out of the hands of the merchant’s existing customers, a huge and unique benefit
- Cardlytics does not need to market its own site to consumers; it rides on the coattails, and leverages the trust, of its banking partners
Cardlytics operates at the intersection of payments and advertising. And while the online card statement is the place to be in 2010 (see screenshot below), clearly the future for any shopping-related service is mobile.
Cardlytics example: in-statement McDonald’s offer made to Burger King customers
1. Cardlytics will be demoing the latest innovations in its service at our Finovate Europe conference on Feb. 1, 2011.
2. BillShrink won a Best of Show award at Finovate Fall for its take on the concept (video).
3. On the strength of its early growth, Cardlytics landed a huge $18 million C-round in August.
4. According to Compete, Groupon had more than 8 million unique U.S. visitors in October.