ST. PAUL, MN (May 23, 2023) — Augeo, a global leader in loyalty and engagement technologies, announced today the formation of Kigo. Kigo combines Heaps, Augeo’s crypto loyalty subsidiary, and Thred, an innovative NFT engagement platform. The two ventures have collectively raised $16 million in funding, including $6.5 million in new commitments from Valor Siren Ventures and Augeo to accelerate the launch of Kigo.
As major brands seek to shape new experiences and embrace digital assets, Kigo trailblazes a new era of Open Loyalty™ defined by sharable experiences, ownable digital assets and cross-brand collaborations. Backed by Augeo’s decades of experience in loyalty serving hundreds of brands and millions of users, Kigo provides the platform and expertise to deliver Open Loyalty to the world.
“The tremendous promise of digital assets unlocks newly possible customer connections and community experiences,” said David Kristal, Founder and CEO of Augeo and Executive Chair of Kigo. “Kigo’s Open Loyalty platform delivers impactful and enduring moments for people to interact with the brands they love. This is significant for the future of loyalty engagement.”
Partnering with Kigo, organizations can create, distribute and manage blockchain-enabled customer, employee and membership experiences—from dynamic digital badges that amplify milestones to shareable rewards, personalized digital memberships and cross-brand collaborations at scale. Brands can also integrate an expansive digital rewards marketplace, where people can redeem loyalty rewards for hyper-relevant digital collectibles, commemoratives, access passes and more, in addition to leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
“The key to unlocking new value for people and brands lies in making experiences so intuitive that you don’t even realize you’re interacting with the blockchain,” said Peter Schultze, CEO of Kigo and former Heaps lead. “Kigo aims to bring the benefits of blockchain to people in the most meaningful and rewarding ways yet.”
"Brands are increasingly asking about digital assets in response to growing demand from their customers, members and employees," said Ben Straley, President and Co-Founder of Kigo and former Thred CEO. “Kigo will seamlessly unlock consumer loyalty and elevate engagement by harnessing the power of digital assets and blockchain technology."
“The combination of Heaps and Thred positions Kigo as the leader in digital asset loyalty. Kigo’s innovative solutions are unique in the space, and we are grateful to support the team while continuing our longstanding relationship with the Augeo team,” said Jon Shulkin, Fund Manager at Valor Siren Ventures and Co-President at Valor Equity Partners.
Augeo is a global leader in enterprise engagement and loyalty technologies that drive transformational experiences and foster meaningful connections for employees, channel partners, consumers, subscribers and members across industries. We elevate engagement and strengthen relationships for clients through our solutions in workplace engagement, experiential marketing, social activation, customer loyalty and digital asset experiences. With more than 45 years of experience, Augeo serves hundreds of clients including dozens of Fortune 500 companies, representing millions across the globe using our proprietary platform technology. Our mission is inspiring people to achieve more—one interaction, transaction and experience at a time.
For more information, visit www.augeomarketing.com.
Michael Walsh, APR, ABC, MBC
The Valor Siren Ventures (VSV) mission is to be the leading innovation engine and investor in early-stage food, food technology, retail, retail technology and sustainability investing. Rooted in Valor’s history of food and retail technology, Valor believes there is an opportunity to develop a new model for venture investing with VSV. Our team aspires to create value by generating differentiated investment opportunities, applying our intellectual capital, and accelerating the growth of portfolio companies through operations assistance in scaling.
For more information, visit www.valorep.com/valor-siren-ventures-vsv.
Kigo’s platform empowers companies to engage people through new forms of rewards, membership and recognition enabled by blockchain. Kigo was founded in 2023 by Augeo, a global leader in engagement technology, and former Starbucks, Amazon and Thred executive Ben Straley.
For more information, visit https://kigo.io.