Swapi raises £350,000 to bring groundbreaking loyalty app to market
Swapi, an app that lets people swap loyalty points between brands, has raised £350,000 in seed funding as it counts down to launching in Autumn 2021.
A collective of angel investors is backing the UK-based startup, including Sean Wilkinson, President of the Incentive Marketing Association Europe and Jon Bowles, founder of Cultural Capitalism Ltd.
The app has been created to tackle one of loyalty’s biggest problems: the wasted billions that sit unused on people’s loyalty cards. The average person has £47 of dormant loyalty cash in their wallet, totalling £6 billion in the UK and $360 billion globally.
This new investment will be used to develop the technology that drives Swapi’s unique ‘swap’ function, replacing historic models that are limited to buying and selling loyalty currency at an exchange rate that reduces overall value for the consumer.
Pete Howroyd commented:
‘To secure this level of investment at such an early stage in Swapi’s development is so encouraging. It’s particularly meaningful that our first round includes people who know our industry and understand the potential Swapi has to positively transform the loyalty experience, for consumers and for brands.
‘Covid has left the retail economy in a perilous state, and Swapi will work on several levels to make a difference. It gives people more spending power. Valuable loyalty points often don’t get used because people don’t want to shop with the brand they’re linked to and they are left to expire. Swapi turns these points into rewards and cash with brands they do want to shop with, putting extra money in their pocket in a really quick and easy way. There’s also a huge upside with the Swapi process for brands. They get an injection of fresh tender and a boost to customer acquisition, as well as a positive message about their loyalty scheme and a reduction in unwanted loyalty cash on their balance sheet.’
Sean Wilkinson added:
‘I could quickly see Swapi’s potential to provide a simple, innovative solution to loyalty’s biggest challenges, bringing benefit on all sides. The loyalty sector has been fairly static in recent times, and I think businesses and consumers will welcome the innovation that Swapi provides. An easy to use app that provides people with a bit of extra cash to spend, and more choice in the way they spend it is a winning proposition. I’m very happy to be on board with Pete and the Swapi team and look forward to some exciting times ahead.’
The Swapi app will go into beta testing this summer and will launch in the UK in the autumn.
Swapi is a start-up tech company aiming to change the game in Loyalty. Set to launch in autumn 2021, the Swapi mobile app is an industry-first ‘digital wallet’, allowing shoppers to swap unspent loyalty points and cashback for valuable offers in the Swapi marketplace.
Based in the UK and built for the global market, Swapi was founded in 2020 by some of the Loyalty industry’s leading operators and innovators, from brands such as Harvey Nichols and Marks & Spencer. They’ve created Swapi to solve one of Loyalty’s biggest problems: that consumers don’t always spend their loyalty points. Why? Often this is due to the fact that they belong to a number of schemes, redemption is not as frictionless as it could be, their points expire or they simply don’t want the provided rewards.
This has resulted in £6 billion worth of unspent loyalty card points in the UK – a figure that climbs to $360 billion globally – with the average UK adult holding £47 worth of unspent points across multiple cards.
The Swapi app is an inventive solution to this problem. It allows people to consolidate all their cards and points in one app, then hands them power to swap and spend their unwanted rewards with other preferred brands – as points, gift cards, offers or products. Swapi is the only app to provide this swap without the need to buy and sell loyalty currencies, which reduces reward value.
Swapi brings several benefits for participating brands. For the brands that customers are swapping from, Swapi provides a positive message around points’ expiry and retains customers in the core loyalty programme. For brands gaining new customers from the ‘swap’, Swapi helps boost customer acquisition and provides a new source of revenue coming into the business – as well as meeting the challenge many businesses face of loyalty program liability.