In the card-linking space, some industry leaders are shying away from describing themselves as “customer loyalty” – they want to focus more on “new revenue.” But Thanx, a four-year-old, pure-breed customer loyalty solution for national-local retailers has just secured a massive $17.1 million “B” round led by Icon Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Javelin Venture Partners. The new money is another validation of the card-linked space, and will enable Thanx to triple its sales and engineering teams in 2017.
The announcement comes on the heels of a $2.5 million funding round for Rewards21, a new card-linked solutions for restaurants founded by Restaurants.com founder Cary Chessick that uses the Empyr platform. Last fall, FiveStars achieved a $50 million raise.
Like other card-linked solutions, Thanx matches purchase data received from Visa, Mastercard and American Express and uses it to segment customers and provide live promotions. Internally, it considers itself one of the first viable CRM solutions for brick and mortar businesses. As we have noted in past coverage, it reports relationships with “thousands” of businesses across 20 retail verticals, with a strong focus on restaurants.
Card-linked solutions are exciting, state-of-the-art solutions. But in recent years, some of their thunder has been grabbed by location-based solutions — which are less dependent on POS than beacons. These can ID customers and track some of their behavior without the hurdle of registration. Thanx’s new investors, obviously, are betting that the company can overcome the hurdle.