Earny is an app that launched on the Apple App Store this past week (Android version in the works) with $1.2 million in initial seed funding. The app automatically tracks and claims money back offers for purchases made from 50 of America’s largest retailers and credit cards issued by most major banks. Science Inc. and Sweet Capital Ltd. are the primary investors; Adam Nash and Yahoo SVP Jeff Bonforte also participated in the investment round.
Price protection schemes are offered by many retailers, promising to reimburse customers the difference of value when the price of a product they have already bought drops in the future. Similarly, banks have various money back offers for purchases made using their credit cards. Consumers often stand to have a part of their spending returned as a result, but miss out on the opportunity since it’s not easy to keep track of when offers are activated across retailers and banks. Earny takes the hassle out of that entire process with its personal assistant bot that tracks future discounts and executes the reimbursements automatically.
The app automatically records what purchases its users have made by watching their inbox for emailed receipts. It uses information in these receipts to suss out for what product and from which retailer each transaction is made. Once it has that data, it keeps an eye out for price adjustments and claims refunds itself on the payment method that was originally used. For those who don’t generally track and claim refunds (which is a lot of us), Earny is something of a passive income program on autopilot.
According to CEO Oded Vakrat, Earny will help its users make about 10 percent of their money back each year. The team is also considering an expansion into money back discounts on hotels, flights etc., which should further increase the returns one can expect to make using the app.
Earny won the Masters of Code Hackathon organized by MasterCard, and the victory has resulted in an important strategic relationship. The startup and banking bigwig have joined forces to develop innovative solutions in the finance sector. Additionally, all of the transactions made via the app are handled by MasterCard’s Simplify Commerce software.
The funds it has raised will be used to bankroll a relocation from Earny’s current San Francisco base to Science Inc’s headquarters in Santa Monica. The move will facilitate cooperation between Earny’s existing team and the network of marketers and engineers part of Science Inc.
Prateek Jose is a writer and engineering undergrad from India with an unhealthy obsession for obscure historical trivia. Conversations about absurdist fiction and the technological singularity make his day. He’s already uploading parts of his brain to servers by writing for websites such as this one.
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