For Wildfire, the theme was growth in 2021. Across all measures, we saw significant growth this past year. Paralleling the explosive growth of e-commerce, Wildfire’s core cashback loyalty and rewards platform is resonating with partners at a time when cashback and rewards for online shopping have simply become expected by consumers from all the brands they do business with.
Additionally, our platform offers a solution for companies, especially in the financial industry, to create deeper relationships with their customers. This outcome ties directly to a key trend we’re seeing take shape in the financial vertical, where financial services companies are moving beyond their historical role as a “back office function” that helps customers with their money on a purely transactional basis, and into a role as a “life partner” helping customers with overall financial wellness, including with cashback rewards and savings on e-commerce purchases.
Among our highlights this year were the following:
- Funding: In August, we secured a $15MM Series A funding round, co-led by TTV Capital and QED Investors. New investors include B Capital, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, and Daher Capital, which are joined by existing investors including Mucker Capital, Bonfire Ventures, Moonshots Capital, and BAM Ventures.
- Transaction volume: We increased the number of transactions we referred to merchants in our network by 24x over the prior year.
- New Features: We drove continuous innovation, rounding our comprehensive platform offering which provides turnkey, white-label shopping companions to our B2B partners. In 202,1 we added several key features, including:
- Mobile Safari Extensions: We were first to market with white-label iOS Safari web extensions that allow iPhone owners to earn rewards and cashback at online merchants. Launched in September, Wildfire powers Acorns’ iOS Safari browser extension, enabling customers to save and earn rewards from thousands of brands while they shop online.
- Couponator: We were also the first to include coupon auto-apply functionality in a white-label rewards platform. The CouponatorTM, announced in November, provides partners with the ability to offer their consumers the ability to automatically find and apply the best coupons online.
- Merchant network growth: We forged new partnerships with online retailers, expanding our global merchant network by 67%. This significantly increased the number of programs where our partners can deliver cashback rewards and coupons to their customers.
- Advisors: This year, we announced the appointment of several industry veterans to our board of directors and advisory board. These appointments include Michael Marcus, a Senior Advisor at Boston Consulting Group focused on financial services; Kerri Pollard, who previously served as President of Commission Junction and CRO of Honey; and Adam Weiss, who served as SVP and General Manager of Rakuten Marketing.
- Team: Since the beginning of 2021, we have grown our team over 400%, and we continue to hire across all areas of the company.
2021 was a successful and pivotal year for Wildfire. I’m so proud of the team for their constant creativity, intense focus, and perseverance as we continued to grow the business, launch new partners and establish Wildfire as the leader in our field.
We’re all so excited to hit the ground running in 2022, and thankful for our team, partners, and investors!