Cash-back application provider Upside Services Inc. is flush with cash of its own today after raising $165 million in a late-stage round of funding that brings its valuation to a cool $1.5 billion.
The Series D raise consisted of $65 million in equity financing and $100 million in debt financing from General Catalyst, with participation from existing investors Bessemer Ventures and Builders VC.
Alongside today’s round, the company said it’s rebranding the name of its app from GetUpside to Upside, to reflect its belief that it offers “upside” for customers and businesses alike.
Upside is a straightforward cash-back app that allows users to earn cash rewards when they make purchases at participating local businesses, including gas stations, convenience stores and some restaurants and grocery stores. For instance, the company claims users can earn cash-back rewards of up to 25 cents per gallon at some gas stations. Upside’s partners are identified on a map within the app, so users can easily find stores where bonuses can be earned.
Users will have to wait a few days to receive their rewards but they have a number of ways to redeem them, including via digital gift cards from participating retailers and restaurants. They can also choose Google Play and Apple Gift Cards, have the money deposited into their PayPal or bank account, or even receive a check in the post.
For businesses, Upside claims they’ll benefit from a guaranteed profit on every sale. The biggest deal, though, is increased exposure, with their business promoted to thousands of Upside application users looking to earn rewards. Companies have some flexibility too, such as being able to offer incentives only to new or infrequent customers who might need an extra nudge to make a purchase.
Upside reckons its app has proven popular, claiming that it has more than 50,000 business partners and a customer base of more than 30 million consumers who can access its offers either through the app or via partner apps. It adds that it has returned a grand total of more than $550 million back to communities through its cash-back rewards.
Upside co-founder and Chief Executive Alex Kinnier said the company provides a win for everyone, giving businesses a way to grow profitably and consumers greater purchasing power for the things they need. “We are always focused on the win-win-win and are proud to have built the only product that delivers measurable benefits for all points of brick-and-mortar commerce,” he said.
Upside said it will use today’s funding to accelerate user growth, expand into new retail categories, invest in product development and hire more talent.