Mobile start up LevelUp raises $12 million

Source: LevelUp

SCVNGR, makers of SCVNGR, the mobile game, and LevelUp, the app that lets you pay with your phone to save time and money, today announced that it has raised $12 million in funding with participation from existing investors Highland Capital Partners, Google Ventures, Balderton Capital and new investors Continental Investors and Transmedia Capital.

Part of a larger round of fundraising, the $12 million in financing will support the rapid growth of LevelUp, the mobile payment app which is now available at more than 3,000 merchant partners in 8 U.S. cities, including well-known fast-casual chains like boloco, Johnny Rockets, and Ben & Jerry's. LevelUp has nearly 200k users who are spending at a volume of $2 million per month with the app, and the fundraising round at large will be focused on the product's nationwide expansion.

"LevelUp adds tremendous value for both merchants and consumers and has quickly accelerated to become a leading player in a highly competitive space, " said Google Ventures Partner Rich Miner. "We're impressed by the product's success to date and are excited to provide additional support as LevelUp scales nationally and the mobile payments industry continues to evolve at a fast pace."

Launched by Boston-based SCVNGR in July 2011, LevelUp enables its users to pay with their phones by linking their credit or debit card to the app and scanning it at checkout. In turn, businesses on LevelUp are able to attract new customers with incentives while motivating them to become regular customers with loyalty rewards.

LevelUp is also expanding its staff to accommodate the product's rapid growth, adding 40 new recruits to its sales team in recent months. At the executive level, LevelUp has also appointed Paul Purcell of Continental - a participant in the $12 million funding round - as an observer on the Board of Directors.

"LevelUp has developed a robust and highly functional technological platform and is developing a network based approach to the payments industry that is bringing true innovation and revolutionary value to merchants and consumers," said Purcell. "We are excited to have the opportunity to work with this talented group of entrepreneurs led by Seth Priebatsch."

According to SCVNGR Chief Ninja Seth Priebatsch, "The whole team here is incredibly excited to have such great partners backing us on our mission to make LevelUp the #1 payment method in the country. Our vision is to make LevelUp the first interchange zero payment network. That means we're working to bring the cost of moving money down to nothing and enabling businesses to re-invest that cost into growing their businesses, by attracting new customers and bringing them back more often."

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