Kiip integrates directly with first-party apps to help brands capitalize on particular moments within a consumer’s daily life – perhaps as they finish a run or when they need to get to the next level in a game – with contextual ads informed by location data, time of day and behavioral signals.
“Marketers are there in the moment when someone is sharing, but Kiip is there in the moment when someone is living,” Wong said. “And there’s a big difference between explicit sharing and just living your life and using the apps you have.”
Over the last several months, Kiip has rolled out several new ad formats, including a video reward unit and the ability to redeem rewards via Passbook. But the mobile-first data the company collects is the real differentiator, Wong said.
“The data that brands have about people mainly comes from website visits on desktop – you go to Autotrader.com, so you must be in the market to buy a car,” he said. “It’s a cookie business. But more and more of a brand’s CRM data is going to originate from mobile-first engagement, not a cookie or a TV.”
Beyond hiring and product development, Kiip also plans to use a portion of the funding to keep focusing on international markets. A partnership with Cheetah Mobile in April expanded Kiip’s footprint to China. Next up, said Wong, is India.
“We’re bullish on India,” he said. “India is quickly becoming another China when it comes to smartphone opportunities.”
Kiip is also contemplating making an acquisition of its own, although what that would entail is still amorphous. But the same environment that makes it awkward for some companies to raise funds presents an opportunity for others to buy them.
“This is the time to look around at smaller teams that are either running out of money or are unable to raise the next round,” Wong said.
Founded in 2010, Kiip is headquartered in San Francisco, with sales offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, London and Las Condas, Chile. Roughly 5,000 apps are integrated with Kiip rewards, including RunKeeper, The Home Depot, Marriott, Taco Bell, Coca-Cola and Clorox.