Kiip Announces Strategic Partnership with Investor Interpublic

Mobile rewards platform Kiip today announced a strategic partnership with Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. (IPG), a"big four" advertising holding company that participated in Kiip's most recent funding round of $11 million.

Mobile rewards platform Kiip today announced a strategic partnership with Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (IPG), a”big four” advertising holding company that participated in Kiip’s most recent funding round of $11 million.

Relay Ventures led the round of Series B funding with participation from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, True Ventures, and Digital Garage. Interpublic did not disclose its participation when the round was first announced in July 2012.

The strategic partnership to connect Kiip with top-tier marketers will be led by the IPG Media Lab division of IPG Mediabrands.

Kiip founder Brian Wong credits his company’s track record with existing clients, some of whom are part of Interpublic’s portfolio, for helping to seal the deal. “Having IPG on our side is a good thing,” he said. “It’s a validation of our business model.”

Kiip partners with developers and brands to reward mobile users for completing tasks that range from mastering a new level of a video game to running a mile. The company now works with 20 percent of the Fortune 100, including Pepsi, Kraft, and Best Buy.

Advertisers often complain abou the “tiny screens” they have to work with in the mobile space, said Wong, but “it’s not about the size of the interaction; it’s about what happens after it.”

In the last year, Kiip has clocked 1 billion moments through its apps, with 300 million of them occurring just in the last 30 days. The users collect their rewards within the app and can usually redeem them in physical stores.

According to Wong, the redemption rates for the reward vouchers are high: one Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) campaign had a 56 percent redemption rate, compared to the average redemption rate of around 22 percent. A video game client saw 1 million rewards redeemed through Kiip, he said. Wong could not reveal the names of these companies, but he said that the video game was one of the top 50 games in the App Store.

“IPG is committed to developing emerging technology, talent and innovation, and bringing new solutions to our clients,” said Interpublic chairman and CEO Michael I. Roth in a statement. “IPG Mediabrands and the IPG Media Lab identified Kiip as a key player in the increasingly important mobile market, with a thoughtful and effective model that connects brands with the modern consumer. It’s always exciting when we can help our clients find new pathways to consumer engagement.”