Philippines: Digital marketing platform AppCard raises $20m Series B led by PLDT Capital

Visual from AppCard's website.

AppCard, a US-based digital marketing and loyalty platform, has secured $20 million in Series B Funding led by PLDT Capital — the venture capital firm of Philippine telco giant PLDT.

Other investors who participated in the round were Peter Thiel of Founders Fund, Eric Schmidt of Innovation Endeavors, and Jerry Yang.

PLDT Capital co-managing director Winston Damarillo told DEALSTREETASIA they invested $5 million in the round.

The round marked the launch of AppCard’s redesigned website and iOS and Android mobile apps, as well as the joining of Alexander Rittweger to its board. He is the founder of PLDT Capital and Loyalty Partner, a global customer management solutions company.

Also Read: PLDT Capital invests $1m in US-based app maker Hopscotch

“I’m convinced that AppCard’s advanced technology will help us build a performance-marketing platform unrivalled in the small and medium-sized business marketplace,” Rittweger said. “I’m excited to marry my global loyalty experience with this team’s exceptional digital experience.”

Rittweger was also the founder of PAYBACK, the world’s largest coalition loyalty platform with over 70 million active members in Germany, Italy, India, Mexico and Poland, which he sold to American Express.

AppCard empowers retailers, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises, to market directly to their customers in a personalized way. The technology combines item-level smart data capture with artificial intelligence to automate marketing.

Also Read: PLDT Capital inks $10m JV with US tech firm Phunware

Damarrillo said the AppCard platform caught PLDT Capital’s attention because of its advanced technology and creative business model.

“The leadership is a dream team, consisting of successful tech and loyalty entrepreneurs. We’re excited to bring the benefits of AppCard to the PLDT Group, as well as to consumers and merchants in the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region,” Damarillo said.

AppCard reported that after developing and optimizing their product to cater to specific retail verticals, it released its latest version in the second half of 2015 and generated explosive growth. The new funding is intended to fuel that and further develop the technology.

Founded in 2011, AppCard previously raised $6.5m in Series A in 2012.

Also Read: Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company snaps up ecommerce startup Paywhere for $5m

“We’re fortunate to be able to add strategic investors with deep loyalty and marketing experience,” said AppCard co-founder and chief executive Yair Goldfinger.

Goldfinger was the co-founder of ICQ, an instant messaging pioneer acquired by AOL, and Dotomi, a personalized online-advertising platform acquired by ValueClick.

Also Read:

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

PLDT, Rocket form JV for mobile-first payment services

iFlix, PLDT Group kick off SEA launch of Internet TV

PLDT’s new investment arm to invest $50m in digital startups in 2015

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.