Instant-deals and loyalty provider Pirq released version 2.0 of its mobile real-time deals app this morning, offering consumers digital punch cards to accumulate rewards in four new verticals. The Washington-based company also announced it’s closed a $1.2 million round in venture financing, bringing its total funding to $3.2 million.
The newly updated app, available for free download to both Android and iPhone users, offers consumers access to geo-targeted deals and loyalty points in the beauty, retail, service and recreation sectors, in addition to restaurants, Pirq’s original vertical. To use the app, consumers simply search for any participating Pirq merchant, and once they arrive at the venue, scan the Microsoft Tag to earn a loyalty punch or redeem a Pirq deal.
The updated app also adds an SMS component for non-smartphone users, or smartphone users wary of point-of-sale downloads, that will prompt users with unique SMS codes when they’re shopping or dining at participating businesses. The consumer can then send that code to 33133 to accumulate a loyalty punch.
For Pirq, the updates are about rounding out the company’s services to local merchants. Pirq has already created a solid geo-targeted instant deals product, using an algorithm in its trademarked SmartYield program to assess whether a particular business is busy to maximize off-peak hour consumers visits through deals. Now, with a loyalty aspect plugged in, Pirq hopes to become a one-stop shop for local merchants, regardless of vertical.
“On the consumer side, geo-targeted, real-time deals is where the deal space is headed,” Pirq CEO James Sun told Street Fight. “But this is only one part of the equation. You cannot forget about the local merchant’s needs — local merchants want a single integrated solution to run their deals, manage loyalty and track analytics.”
As for the $1.2 million funding round, courtesy of Rally Capital, Sun says Pirq will allocate the money toward continued product development and new, upgraded kits for participating merchants, which supplement Thursday’s developments. The company is also hiring salespeople in many markets in the western U.S., as it continues to expand out of its initial Seattle launch point into Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Portland and Boise.