App that distributes reward points for eco-friendly public transport raises $ 12.5 million


Miles – an app that encourages eco-friendly transportation by handing out reward points when you travel in an eco-friendly way like biking, walking or using public transport – announced on Wednesday that it had raised $ 12.5 million. Call it an adventure venture capital investment.

Thousands and miles of silver

The Miles app connects to a person’s cell phone location settings to keep tabs on their transit. Every time a user moves from point A to point B, the miles they travel are converted into points, which users can redeem for mileage partner rewards, such as a Starbucks gift card or a trial. Hello Fresh.

Traveling with environmentally friendly methods earns more points: carsharing is better than a solo trip and trips on foot, by bike or by public transport are worth even more. And after a pandemic year that has reduced car traffic and revitalized cycling activity (and not just in the family peloton), everyone from commuters to day trippers is racking up points:

  • Users collected 12 billion miles on the app, of which 3.5 billion were redeemed for 7 million various rewards. Miles says this generated $ 200 million in revenue for its rewards partners, but the need for a Series A round suggests the startup still needs to stockpile its own coffers.
  • In addition to the new funding, Miles said Wednesday he is adding Lego, Buffalo Wild Wings, Garmin, Sam’s Club and HP as reward partners. But most compelling is the potential of “Miles 2.0”, a revamped version of the app currently in development that could offer different types of rewards like PayPal credits, airline miles or even cash.

What is the economic model? This is the catch. Using Miles means handing over your location data, and while the company insists that no data is ever handed over to third parties, it always uses where and when users move to power a “platform. predictive marketing AI “that connects users with business partners. essentially a system primed for customer acquisition.

Search it on Google: As part of a development for mile point hunters, Google said on Wednesday that its Maps app is extraordinarily expanding real-time information on public transport congestion – from 200 to 10,000 transit agencies in 100 countries.

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