Rewards firm Belly hits 1 million check-ins

Beating Foursquare for user engagement in some locations

US loyalty firm Belly says it has now notched up 1 million check-ins, claiming that it is beating rival Foursquare for user engagement in some locations. The Chicago-based company lets users check-in at shops, restaurants and other retailers using a mobile app or physical loyalty cards to collect loyalty points. Users can then redeem these points for rewards, such as a free meal or discounted goods at these retailers, who subscribe to the service to boost traffic to their stores and engage with their customers.

I’m not here to make outlandish statements,” CEO Logan LaHive tells TechCrunch. “Some stores are more active and engaged than others, so it would be ridiculous for me to say 100% of locations. But in our active locations, they’re surpassing all-time Foursquare check-ins in their first month.”

Belly has hit the 1 million check-in milestone weeks after sealing a USD10 million funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz, as the rewards sector continues to grow.  The company has raised around USD13 million to date and says it is using the new investment to fund rapid expansion into new markets. The firm now employs 50 staff, operating in 1,500 locations across the US and adding a further 100 each week. Launched in August 2011, the service claims to have 200,000 users.

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