Empyr Acquired by Augeo, Becomes Figg

Commerce monetization company Empyr announced this week it has been acquired by its long-time partner Augeo, a loyalty and engagement firm. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Under the agreement, Empyr will rebrand as Figg, combining Augeo’s card-linking technology with Empyr’s publisher experience. Figg will benefit from Augeo’s existing 60 million users and $300 billion in transaction volume for loyalty offers.

Empyr launched in 2011 and has since raised $48.2 million in funding. The company’s API relies on data partnerships with VISA, Mastercard, and American Express to power card-linked loyalty rewards for offline businesses.

“While the timing might seem counter-intuitive, we believe there is an urgent need to bring advanced technology and more encompassing advertiser offer content to consumers seeking greater value,” said Augeo CEO David Kristal. “Some retail sectors like grocery, household essentials and health-related products are near capacity, while the travel industry, hospitality, restaurants and many local service businesses are battling to stay afloat. As things begin to improve, Figg will be uniquely positioned to connect consumers with advertisers to help accelerate commerce in the U.S. market.”

Valor Siren Ventures provided an undisclosed amount of financial support. “This is a compelling combination, to have VSV lead with new capital invigorating the operational and technology investments made by Augeo and Empyr in recent years,” added Bill Ruh, former Chairman of Empyr.

Kristal, who is also Executive Chairman of Figg, said the company chose the name Figg because it reflects its mission. “Figs define persistence and reflect the enduring quality that we felt spoke to our adaptability, sustenance and resolve,” he said.

The name also demonstrates the company’s adaptability, which is especially relevant in a time of pandemic. “Augeo was first launched during challenging times, and that experience has fortified our ability to press through adversity and grow. Today, we are looking through this current challenging time toward the “next normal.” We have a unique strategic focus around cash preservation coupled with ingenuity, adaptability and where possible, growth,” added Kristal.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Vera Announces $15 Million Strategic Investment from Hasso Plattner.
  • Digiliti Money Celebrates Rebrand by Ringing NASDAQ Closing Bell.

Around the web

  • San Francisco Business Times names Blackhawk Network CEO and President, Talbott Roche, an Inspire Award recipient.
  • Baker Hill NextGen to power business intelligence for iQ Credit Union.
  • CrossFirst Bank to leverage nCino’s cloud banking technology.
  • Geezeo launches digital reputation management solution.
  • Kensho launches open source Python package aims to make app configuration easier.
  • Empyr introduces CPR: Cost-Per-Revenue O2O Performance Marketing.
  • Thomson Reuters and S&P Global enter strategic transcript data agreement.
  • Overbond adds swap pricing calculator to its corporate bond intelligence suite.
  • FinovateSpring Best of Show winner Neener Analytics earns finalist spot in Citi Tech for Integrity Challenge.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Spring Forward: FinovateSpring 2016 Alums Top $200 Million in Funding


With FinovateSpring 2017 coming next month, we thought we’d take a look back at how the alums from our last spring conference a year ago have fared on the fundraising front.

And after a quick review, it seems that investors continue to be interested in the innovations of Finovate alumni. In fact, even without the $1.8 billion Golden Gate Capital spent on its acquisition of Neustar late last year ($2.9 million with debt included), the alums from FinovateSpring 2016 have had an impressive year of fundraising. While the specific funding amounts for a number of alums were not officially disclosed, our review shows more than $200 million raised by 20 FinovateSpring 2016 alums over the past year alone.

Among the bigger deals of the past year, the $72 million raised by OurCrowd stands out. OurCrowd, a crowd investing platform for venture capital, was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Jerusalem, Israel. With a growing network of more than 17,000 investors, OurCrowd has raised $400 million on its platform, providing funding for 110 companies. Also noteworthy was the $29 million raised by FinDEVr/Finovate alum NYMBUS in two separate fundings in August and February. NYMBUS is an innovator in developing advanced, cloud-based core banking systems. Known as a “bank in a box” NYMBUS technology gives smaller banks and credit unions the ability to compete with larger FIs when it comes to providing customers with the latest digital banking services.

So to help get you ready for FinovateSpring 2017, here’s a list of the investments scored by alums from last year’s conference. And remember you can see live demos from all 20 of our fundraising FinovateSpring 2016 alums in our Video Archives.

February 2017

  • FinDEVr New York Alum NYMBUS Announces $16 Million in New Funding
  • Qumram’s Regtech Offering Lands $1.49 Million
  • Empyr Raises $3 Million in Funding

January 2017

  • ForwardLane Raises $1.1 Million in New Funding
  • Earnix Receives $13.5 Million in Growth Capital from New and Existing Investors

December 2016

  • Cyberfend Acquired by Akamai Technologies for Undisclosed Amount

November 2016

  • Sezzle Raises Seed Funding Ahead of Shopify Debut ($1.85 million)
  • Neustar Acquired by Golden Gate Capital for $1.8 Billion (including debt $2.9B)

October 2016

  • ThreatMetrix Picks Up $30 Million in Growth Capital from Silicon Valley Bank (debt financing)

September 2016

  • OurCrowd Pulls In $72 Million
  • WealthForge to Raise $2.5 Million in New Convertible Note Offering
  • OneVisage Earns Seed Funding in Round Led by Polytech Ecosystem Ventures (amount undisclosed)

August 2016

  • CUneXus Closes $5 Million Series A
  • Automobile Title Lending Platform Finova Financial Raises $52.5 Million
  • NYMBUS Raises $12 Million in Round Led by Vensure Enterprises

July 2016

  • Linqto Announces New Venture Funding from Keiretsu Capital (amount undisclosed)

June 2016

  • NICE Funding! CallVU Raises $3 Million
  • Civic Announces New Debt Financing from Blockchain Capital (amount undisclosed)
  • savedroid AG Completes €1 ($1.1 USD) Million Seed Round; Announces Beta Launch
  • Cyberfend Earns Undisclosed Non-Equity Assistance from MasterCard Start Path Global Program.
  • BanQu Secures $100,000 in Financing (convertible note)

Are you a FinovateSpring 2016 alums whose funding we missed? Send us an email research@finovate.com and we’ll be happy to make the update.

Empyr Powering Yelp’s New Cash Back Program


Commerce monetization company Empyr announced yesterday that crowdsourced reviews-giant Yelp is the latest company to join its card-linked offers empire. Yelp launched Yelp Cash Back, which uses a card-linked rewards service powered by San Diego-based Empyr.yelp

Founded in 2015, Empyr seeks to help marketers track and monetize the data captured in the 93% of transactions that happen offline. Its online-to-offline (O2O) commerce solution offers an API that helps online publishers, such as Yelp, display offers from offline advertisers. When consumers pay at a participating merchant using a credit or debit card they’ve linked with the platform, Empyr’s partnership with the three major credit card companies facilitates a credit to the user’s account on a monthly basis.

Empyr’s parent company MOGUL was cofounded by Jon Carder in 2010. In an interview with Forbes, Carder, who currently serves as Empyr CEO, said:

Utilizing Empyr’s real-time offline purchase tracking, Yelp, for the first time, can show a brand how many online impressions they got and exactly how much those consumers spent in their stores. Knowing the in-store revenue driven from digital marketing allows a brand to calculate, rather than guess, their ROI. This is a game-changer for marketers who are trying to drive traffic into physical stores.

To start reaping rewards, Yelp users search cash back in the app and will see the range of businesses that participate in the program. After linking their credit and/or debit cards, users will automatically, on a monthly basis, be credited 10% of their purchase amount back. This not only helps businesses attract and retain customers, but also ensures top-of-wallet for the card issuers and, in the end, makes the customer happy.

Yelp Cash Back is now available at participating bars and restaurants in major cities across the U.S. Yelp reports that while the rewards service is not available for online orders or food delivery, it will be expanding the service to more brick-and-mortar restaurants in the future. In addition to its partnership with Yelp, Empyr also fuels card-linked rewards for Microsoft Earn, LivingSocial’s Restaurant Plus program, Coupon.com’s rewards program, and the Swagbucks Local app.

CEO Jon Carder debuted Empyr at FinovateSpring 2016. The company has raised $35 million from its parent company MOGUL and has 60 employees.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Check out the week’s “FinDEVr APIntelligence”
  • “Finovate Debuts: Uniken Introduces Relationship-Based Authentication”
  • BlueVine’s $49 Million to Fuel Product Expansion”
  • Empyr Powering Yelp’s New Cash Back Program”

Around the web

  • Expensify exclusively endorsed by the world’s leading accounting body.
  • Scalable Capital hits €100m in assets 10 months after launch in Germany and 4 months after U.K. launch
  • vaamo receives license for portfolio management by German supervisory authority BaFin.
  • Morningstar’s HelloWallet launches free student-loan calculator.
  • Signifyd and ThreatMetrix team up to combine machine learning and digital IDs to reduce ecommerce fraud.
  • Cartera Commerce launches Offerlink, a free Google Chrome web-browser extension to help online shoppers save money.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Financials.
  • Kalypton wins the Dassault Systemes 3DS fintech challenge.
  • FinDEVr alum Braintree introduces commerce infrastructure tools.
  • ACI Worldwide named “frontrunner service provider” for EBA instant credit-transfer scheme.
  • Overbond integrates DBRS credit ratings into its platform.
  • DarcMatter earns first-place honors at Next Money Shanghai Semifinal Pitch competition.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: Empyr


FS2016-wdateA look at the companies demoing live to 1,500+ fintech professionals May 10 & 11. Register today.

Empyr uses card-linked technology to bridge online-to-offline (O2O) commerce, driving online audiences to offline merchants and generating new revenue for websites and apps.


  • Connects offline businesses with online consumers
  • Generates revenue for websites and apps every time a linked card is used at merchants in the Empyr network
  • Real-time tracking of offline transactions

Why it’s great
Empyr’s strong revenue model rewards all participants in the O2O value chain—consumers, merchants, financial EmpyrPresenterinstitutions, websites and apps.

Presenter: Jon Carder, CEO and founder
Jon Carder is a serial entrepreneur and CEO of Empyr, an online-to-offline commerce platform providing a frictionless approach to monetizing online consumers in the offline world.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

Check out today’s FinovateSpring 2016 Sneak Peek posts:

Around the web

  • Wipro names PayPal executive Patrick Dupuis at its latest board member.
  • Tradeshift announces partnership with Chinese taxation services provider, Baiwang.
  • Bank of Ceylon upgrades core accounting processing platform and front-end teller system with technology from Fiserv.
  • Lending Club joins Millennium Alternative Investment Network.
  • Rage Frameworks deploys traceable “deep learning” tech, Rage AI.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Empyr’s Online-to-Offline Ad Platform Seamlessly Rewards Consumers

This post is part of our live coverage of FinovateFall 2015.

EmpyrLogoEmpyr launches its online-to-offline ad platform:

Ninety three percent of commerce, over four trillion dollars, is still offline. With Empyr’s online-to-offline ad platform, publishers earn revenue on every offline transaction driven from their website, app, or email, while simultaneously rewarding their consumers with cash back or points, and driving more business to offline advertisers. It’s frictionless because it leverages something we all use: credit and debit cards. There are no coupons, loyalty cards, or apps for consumers and no hardware to install for offline advertisers. All of this can be easily implemented using the Empyr API, and monetized through Empyr’s growing base of offline advertisers.

Empyr presenters: Jon Carder, CEO, co-founder; Jarrod Cuzens, CTO and co-founder



Product Launch: Fall 2015
Metrics: 70 employees, $35M
Product distribution strategy: Direct to Consumer (B2C); Direct to Business (B2B); through financial institutions; through other fintech companies and platforms, licensed

HQ: San Diego, California
Founded: March 2010
Website: empyr.com

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Empyr


FF2015_logo_dateThe Sneak Peek series looks at the innovators demoing live onstage in front of 1,500 execs at FinovateFall. Get your tickets today and we’ll see you in New York on 16/17 September!

EmpyrLogoEmpyr is an online-to-offline ad platform created for publishers such as banks and card issuers.

Features of Empyr:

  • Your consumers get cash back at restaurants, gas, grocery etc.
  • Banks earn revenue from each transaction
  • It works with any debit or credit card

Why it’s great
The vast majority of commerce—93%, or more than $4 trillion dollars—is offline. Yet, there is no simple way to track a customer from the point of seeing an ad online to making a purchase offline, known as online-to-offline commerce.


Jon Carder, Founder and CEO
Carder is a serial internet entrepreneur who, by the age of 30, had founded three multimillion-dollar online businesses. The most successful, ClientShop, was sold to Internet Brands in 2006 for $10+ million dollars.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “FinovateFall 2015: Mapping Fintech’s International Neighborhood”

Around the web

  • Feedzai teams up with Socure to combine social biometrics with fraud-risk scoring. See Socure at FinovateFall 2015 in New York City next week.
  • Moven CEO Brett King joins the advisory board for Jumio.
  • Fiserv joins Visa, Citi, Nasdaq, and Capital One in $30 million funding of blockchain startup, Chain. Join Fiserv in New York City next week for FinovateFall 2015.
  • iSignthis confirms the adequacy of its KYC services for use by financial institutions in the U.S.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.