In an interaction with DEALSTREETASIA, ZAP co-founder and CEO Dustin Cheng said the latest funding has brought the company’s total amount of investments to $1.4 million.
Founded in 2013, ZAP enables customers to earn reward points with just their mobile number, no apps involved, and provides merchants with a white-label loyalty solution that includes automated SMS re-marketing for non-returning customers.
ZAP plans to use the fresh capital to grow sales figures, product team development, and to make a push into the payments space.
The digital lifestyle startup claimed to have helped over 800 establishments across the Philippines since launching their own branded loyalty program.
ZAP attributes its turning point to a pivot in mid-2015, when the founders decided to change its business model from an open platform where brands shared points with each other to a closed system where points can only be used in the brand where they are earned from.
After the pivot, ZAP enjoyed a 2000 per cent rise in merchant usage of the platform.
Cheng claims his “white-label,” mobile number based approach is what separates the startup from the other companies working in the loyalty space.
“We are unique in that customers can use just their mobile number across all our merchants, instead of needing to download an app for each brand,” he said.
He cited that for ZAP, payments alone will not drive consumer adoption and that loyalty plus payments presents a stronger overall value proposition to merchants and consumers alike.
“This 2018 will be an interesting year for payments. Alibaba has entered the Philippines through an investment in Globe Telecom Inc-owned Mynt. Grab has launched Grab Pay, and there are a slew of other mobile wallets competing for attention,” Cheng added.