Image Courtesy: ZAP

Image Courtesy: ZAP

ZAP, a Filipino startup based in Manila, has raised US$850,000 from Siemer Ventures, Seawood Capital, local angel investors, and Kickstart Ventures.

This funding round lays the foundation for the Echelon 2013 alumnus to expand nationwide, with plans for expansion in Southeast Asia by 2015.

ZAP is a marketing platform with a focus on loyalty and rewards, making use of ZAPtag in its approach to consumers who use NFC stickers. It is designed to connect retailers and consumers via a mix of web and mobile technologies, yet remain modestly autonomous from these platforms and minimise the risk of relying upon external vendors when making payments and managing loyalties and rewards.

Also Read: ZAP: Loyalty and Big Data for brick and mortar establishments via NFC

This second round of funding is aimed to develop scaling and further customer engagement, as well as accelerate overseas expansion by the Filipino venture. Expanding beyond its current 350 partner establishments in Metro Manila, it aims to reach its target of  1,200 partner establishments across other key Filipino cities by the end of 2014.

Future plans
The CEO of ZAP, Dustin Cheng, shared, “Merchants have been reaching out to expand our services in their other branches outside Metro Manila for quite some time now. Closing this round allows ZAP to be present in key cities in the Philippines such as Cebu and Davao by the third quarter of this year.”

ZAP allows consumers from a broad market base to use it, given the minimal cost for a single ZAPtag (US$2.28). Merchant partners who use ZAP need not pay any subscription fee and get ZAP terminals for free, further incentivising them to adopt its use, given the advantages inherent in allowing them to manage their loyalty programmes and track consumer trends through ZAP.

ZAP also plans to launch a coupons feature, allowing merchants to post promotional online coupons that ZAP users can collect and save in their ZAP account. Using these coupons, they’ll simply go to the merchant’s store, enter their mobile number or tap their ZAPtag and their coupons can be accessed. Merchants will receive reports on their usage rates, the demographics of coupon users and will be able to retarget these customers as needed.

ZAP is also forging value-added partnerships in its latest tie-up with Smart Rewards, the in-house rewards program of Smart Communications. The Flilipino telecommunication provider’s subscribers can convert rewarded points into ZAP points and use them across all of ZAP’s merchant partners, as well as receive deals via the ZAP network.