CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Raise, a marketplace that enables members to purchase gift cards below face value and sell unwanted gift cards for cash, today announced the acquisition of Tastebud Technologies (“Tastebud”), a leading developer of predictive technologies that create customized mobile shopping experiences based on a user’s style sensibilities.
Tastebud’s partners include malls, outlets and shopping districts. The company’s patented predictive technology uses quizzes, games and other interactive elements to assess mobile users’ shopping preferences, and then presents personalized incentives. Through the use of location-based and beacon technology, Tastebud delivers push notifications or SMS to shoppers to drive store traffic and other immediate purchases.
“Raise and Tastebud essentially grew up together in the Chicago tech scene, and I’ve had a firsthand look at the success they have had building out their product,” said George Bousis, founder and CEO of Raise. “Tastebud has years of great experience working with malls and retailers to understand consumer shopping patterns and brand affinity, and we believe there is an opportunity to leverage their technology and learn from their knowledge to enhance the Raise user experience.”
The acquisition comes in a busy year for Raise after the company closed a $62M Series B round of funding in January. In the past seven months, Raise’s revenue has tripled and employee headcount has grown to more than 220. With millions of mobile downloads since launching an iOS app in November of 2014 and Android app in July of 2015, 38 percent of all Raise orders are now processed on its mobile platforms.
The Tastebud team will move into Raise’s 50,000 square foot headquarters in Chicago’s Sullivan building, which will soon be expanding an additional 25,000 square feet. This added space will allow the company to accommodate another 100 employees, to be hired by the end of the year. Tastebud CEO Tyler Spalding will take the position of Chief Strategy Officer.
Raise extends the buying power of consumers through the largest and most trusted gift card marketplace in the world. Members can purchase gift cards at prices below face value and use the full value of the card as payment for everyday purchases, as well as sell gift cards for cash. More than 3,000 popular brands are on the platform, and all purchases are verified and insured with a 100 percent money-back guarantee. Members access the marketplace from Raise.com or through iOS and Android apps, where they can transact on the go and use gift cards on their mobile devices.