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Mocapay secures $3M in funding for mobile CRM

September 28, 2009

The ink! Coffee portal on Mocapays WAP site

The ink! Coffee portal on Mocapay's WAP site

Mobile gift, loyalty and marketing company Mocapay has closed $3 million in funding from Spartan Mobile, Lacuna Venture Fund and other investors.

Mocapay helps merchants mobile-enable their gift and loyalty programs for customer relationship management. Its CRM and commerce platform lets consumers transact at the point-of-sale, access their account balance and transaction history, find the nearest merchant location participating in the mobile gift and loyalty initiative and reload their gift account, all using their mobile phone.

“The form factor in the payments space has been a magnetic strip on a plastic card, that’s the predominant standard for making payments, and our premise that it will ultimately migrate to your mobile phone over the course of the next decade,” said Kevin Grieve, CEO of Mocapay, Denver, CO.

“Our go-to-market strategy is saying that the best tender type to convert to mobile first are both gift and loyalty cards,” he said. “This funding will be used to fuel our growth strategy as we continue to sell our product to retailers to mobile-enable their gift and loyalty programs.

“We are focusing on three areas: sales operations and technology, product investments and general-purpose growth—we have the core platform and we’re going to continue to invest to expand our business.”

Mocapay delivers direct marketing opportunities and customer loyalty initiatives to merchants while letting consumers make transactions with their mobile device and get real-time promotions from the retailers of their choice.

In addition, Mocapay customers can take advantage of the Gift-A-Friend application, which lets consumers send mobile gift accounts to their friends and family directly to their mobile phone from the Mocapay Web site.  

Spartan Mobile is an investment fund out of Dallas, TX, that has invested in the mobile space since 2005, specializing in mobile marketing, information and promotions.

Spartan, backed by the Headington Group, provides capital, manpower and takes an active role in helping to guide its companies to continued success.
The Lacuna Venture Fund helps early-stage companies negotiate the gap between product innovation and marketplace adoption.

Proceeds from the funding will go towards supporting new customer implementations, expanding business development efforts and developing additional enhancements to Mocapay’s mobile commerce platform, for both payments and marketing services.

Mocapay provides a mobile commerce platform that supports integrated mobile payments, marketing and distribution at point-of-sale.

Mocapay provides three modes of consumer interaction including SMS, mobile Web/WAP and mobile applications, including one for iPhone (see story).

While the company is currently in negotiations with larger retailers, to date Mocapay’s clients have consisted primarily of local food-and-beverage sellers such as frozen yogurt shop Maibury (see story), Doc Popcorn (see story), Ink! Coffee (see story) and ShortStop convenience store (see story).

Mocapay estimates that about $100 billion of value is loaded onto merchant gift cards every year, and more than a billion cards are issued every year,

“We eliminate that plastic, so the merchant doesn’t have to pay for manufacturing them, storing them or managing the physical movement of those cards,” Mr. Grieve said. “The mobile phone enables two-way communication between the merchant and consumers and provides access to consumers’ account information.

“From a consumer perspective, when you deal with physical plastic, you have to physically go to the store, buy the gift card and either hand it over or mail it,” he said. “With mobile, the gift-to-friend feature lets users send a gift card to the phone of a friend or family member and then they could redeem it at the point of sale.

“Mobile opens up a new distribution channel that is beneficial to the consumer and the merchant.”

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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