Kiip Keeping It Real as Mobile Advertisers Take Note

Kiip Keeping It Real as Mobile Advertisers Take NoteKiip is keeping it real — and a recent round of strategic funding proves investors like that idea very much.

Kiip, a mobile advertising network that enables brands and companies to prompt consumers about real rewards for virtual achievements, recently raised new money from Verizon Ventures and Michael Lazerow, co-founder of Buddy Media.

Integrating real-world rewards for mobile users on both iOS and Android is the driving force behind the network. Instead of virtual rewards, Kiip provides consumers with tangible rewards from premium brand clients. One recent promotion offered a free bottle of Propel Fitness Water from Pepsi inside the Nexercise and Sworkit health apps.

“Now Kiip is offering the same loyalty platform to brands who want to use it in their own apps, instead of (or in addition to) buying ads in someone else’s game,” according to a November 2014 report from TechCrunch. That means they can use Kiip to improve engagement with their own users, and they get complete control over the rewards, rather than trying to compete with other advertisers.”

Kiip is promoting the platform as a software-as-a-service (SAS) model, rather than an ad-based one.

“So to be very clear, nothing is happening with the existing business, which continues to thrive,” said Kiip cofounder and CEO Brian Wong said. “This is a new customer for the same product.”

It’s a broadening of the “moment” concept that Wong believes will work for brands worldwide.

“We took the moment concept for advertising, and now we’re using the same moments for the purposes of retaining loyalty with the existing customer,” Wong said. “It’s a testament to the flexibility of moments as a concept in consumer engagement overall.”

Founded in 2010, Kiip is active on about 1,100 apps played on 75 million devices. Company stats show it sends out reward messages for more than 500 million moments every month (about a dozen rewards per second).