PH startup TheKard raises $373k in funding, to expand MobKard app

From left standing are IdeaSpace president Earl Valencia and TheKard co-founder Carlo Calimon, while seated are Globaltronics Inc chairman William Guido (left) and TheKard CEO Francis Uy.

TheKard, a Philippine tech startup and creator of the MobKard App, has raised up to $373,000 (P17 million) in a funding round led by local digital signage advertising firm Globaltronics Inc.

The location-based mobile loyalty solutions provider, that was also among the initial batch of startups at local incubator and accelerator Ideaspace, said it would use the funding to expand operations through the launch of the official Mobkard app, which provides users with the best and the latest deals from the biggest brands that are near their current location using only their smartphones.

TheKard, which currently has about 200 merchant partners, will extend the MobKard app – a digital privilege card services or mobile card that can be downloaded for free using iOS and Android devices – to the general public,

Also read: PH startup MobKard eyes Asia expansion

“We thank [IdeaSpace] especially for connecting us with the industry, the startup community as well as guiding and mentoring us to talk to investors,” Francis Uy, CEO and Co-Founder at The Kard said. “For a startup company like ours, we need to stand on the shoulders of giants. We need to stand on the strong foundations and pillars of the industry to be able to help us succeed and grow,” he added.

Globaltronics chairman William Guido, who joined Uy in the signing of the funding agreement, expressed confidence in TheKard’s business model.

Also read: Philippine SMEs becoming startup investors, says IdeaSpace

“We are confident that in three years or less, we would be very successful with this project because we believe in its scalability,” Guido said. “Since we have 200 LED boards nationwide, we need to provide full support to MobKard for greater awareness.”

Mobkard, which provides business-to-communities (B2C) with location-based mobile loyalty solutions, somehow renders discount vouchers or loyalty cards to become obsolete.

Also read: Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play to invest more in PH startups

TheKard has partnered with big-ticket names in retail such as Vans, LayBare, 360 Fitness Club, Bizu Patisserie, Nurture Wellness Spa, MedExpress, Sunglass Haven, and Dillinger’s, among many others, to provide these exclusive discounts and other privileges.

“Everyone loves a good deal, and sometimes many consumers miss out on discounts and other privileges simply because they are not aware of them when they enter a particular store,” Uy said, while adding: “Mobkard brings this wealth of knowledge closer to users through a device that is closest to them—their mobile phones. With Mobkard, there’s no more need to carry discount vouchers or loyalty cards around, because all of the latest deals near you can now be found with just one tap.”

Uy cited brands and businesses need to be proficient in the mobile space as smartphone penetration in the Philippines is expected to reach 60 per cent by the end of 2015, a clear emergence of the so-called “mobile-first generation.”

Initially concentrating on the so-called B to C (communities) market, Mobkard has in the past provided location-based mobile loyalty solutions to over 14 businesses and organizations such as the AIM Alumni, Ateneo Graduate School of Business Alumni, La Salle Green Hills Alumni, PLDT SME Nation, SM Global Pinoy, and others, together with the participation of more than 200 merchant partners.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.