What if we tell you to earn a cashback for every time you buy fuel from a gas station, eat out in a restaurant and buy your groceries. It may sound unreal but cashback apps are blooming in today’s time. Some apps pay you cashback for clothes of a certain brand, while others may pay you when you eat out.
One of such popular cash-back is GetUpside. It is an app that provides its users with cashback everytime they purchase gas, go to partnered restaurants and bars. However, how does this app give its user a cashback? How does it earn revenue?
In this blog, we are going to explore GetUpside’s business model, in detail.
What is GetUpside
GetUpside is an easy-to-use cashback app. It offers cashback rewards to its users for when they mainly purchase gas, go to certain restaurants and grocery stores.
It is a free app for everyone and is available on Android and iOS phones. The app has rewarded buyers with over $50 million in form of cashback benefits. Users can claim offers from 30,000+ business partners, including Burger King, Dunkin’ Donuts, Kmart, or Shell, Uber.
Users just have a click of a picture of their bill and upload it on the app. The app’s image recognition technology will verify the bill receipt and offer a cash back.They can get cash back via PayPal, e-gift card or even directly in their bank account.
How Does Getupside Make Money?
GetUpside earns money from profit-sharing deals with its merchants through affiliate commissions/referral fees. It benefits merchants by providing them with new customers, helping the merchant to expand their customer base and increase their profits. The more customers use the app to get cashback, the more money it earns.
Its business model is to empower and upscale the traditional brick and mortar shops by using digital technology.
The cashback app uses the personalization to entice its users to make transactions on their app. Similar to that of its competitors Ibotta and Fetch Rewards it uses machine learning technology to showcase personalized offers to its users. This technology can also display products the customers had not thought of buying previously based on their tastes and transaction history.
GetUpside also generates revenue by providing merchants with aggregated customer data. It includes the user’s shopping history, location, and their preferences — that help brands to understand customer behavior as well as it allows them to get to know which of their products are working.
Businesses cannot find such data with traditional channels of marketing like television ads, billboards, etc. In GetUpside’s business model they can easily calculate the ROI (return on investment). The company’s vision is empower local businesses by connecting them to new people (customers) sq
It is a business model in which every party involved is getting some form or profit or a benefit. The customers can save their money. Merchants can acquire additional customers and even get customer data to make more informed business decisions. Lastly, GetUpside earns profit from each new merchant and new customer it earns.
How Does GetUpside work
GetUpside will help its users to save their money by offering a cashback on every purchase they make via app. You just need to create a free account using your email or linking your Facebook account and you can start getting cashbacks for every purchase you make.
GetUpside works like any other cashback app but it is exclusive to gas purchases.Now, it has also partnered with some grocery stores and restaurants as well. It collaborates with local and online gas retailers across the country and offers incentives when a customer purchases gas from them. It also provides users with promotional coupons for further cashbacks and rewards.
If you have found an offer that you like, click the location in the app and you have to make the purchase in the specified time frame. For gas stations and restaurants, it’s 4 hours while for grocery stores, it’s 24 hours.
Also, GetUpside does not have any minimum balance that you need to require when you are withdrawing the cash. You can simply choose to deposit the cashback into your PayPal account, digital gift cards and your bank account. You will receive the cashback within 24-48 hours of redemption.
History of GetUpside
GetUpside was founded in 2016 by Alex Kinnier (CEO), Jan Rubio, Joanna Kochaniak, Rick McPhee, Thomas Vaughan, and Wayne Lin.They all were from tech background. In the early 2000s, Kinnier and Lin met when they started working at Google. Later, Kinnier moved to become a venture capitalist with Khosla Ventures and New Enterprise Associates.
He worked there for 5 years and joined Opower as their Senior Vice President of Products and Engineering. There he reunited with his long lost friend, Lin who also joined Opower a few years prior.
They also founded their other co-founders, McPhee, Kochaniak, Rubio and Vaughan at the same company. In 2016, the software giant Oracle acquired Opower for about $532 million. That’s, when the six co-founders decided to work on their start-up idea — GetUpside.
Initially, the app only focused on providing cashback offers on gas purchases. Then for the next few years, they focused on building a strong supply side for its platform. They signed partnerships with companies like BP, Kmart, etc. The most successful year for GetUpside was 2020. It was able to get onboard its biggest competitors, GasBuddy and Checkout 51.
Also, 2020 was the year when the world was hitted by the Coronavirus. Everyone wanted to save their money as much as they could because of the nation-wide lockdown. This is the year when a lot of users started using this platform. They also signed deals with DoorDash, Instacart the same year. Next year, they signed a deal with Uber to allow their drivers to directly benefit from GetUpside’s cashback rewards.
Revenue, Valuations and Funding
GetUpside got funding when it was at the pre-revenue stage. It was able to raise two Series A rounds before the start-up began its operations. It was because Kinnier was a venture capitalist and also all were well-known veterans in the tech industry.
According to Crunchbase, GetUpside has raised a total funding amount of $265 million. It has got investors like Bienville Capital, One Growth Ventures, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, Formation 8,etc.
The Series D was conducted around April 2022 and it has rebranded its name from GetUpside to Upside. In that round, it raised $65 million in the form of equity and $100 million in debt financing from General Catalyst with participation from existing investors including Bessemer Ventures and Builders VC. This latest round brings Upside’s valuation to $1.5 billion.
According to cbinsights, GetUpSide’s current valuation after Series D around is $1.5 billion which makes it a unicorn. It brings in $128M in annual revenue, and has driven $550M back into local communities. It is planning to use the funding to expand into new retail categories.
Top Competitors of GetUpside
- Gas Buddy
The GasBuddy is an app that provides cheap prices of nearby gas stations from user-generated data and partnerships with companies and gas stations. It is the direct competitor of GetUpside as the cashback app’s major revenue stream comes from gas.
Ibotta is a cashback and coupon app that is free for all. Users can get cash back on various products by performing different tasks, then provide a proof (receipt) of their purchase. Features like redeeming coupons, rewards programs, coupon stacking,etc have made this app popular and is giving stiff competition to GetUpside.
Rakuten is a cashback app that has partnered with more than 2,500 stores and it provides cash back every time an user shops. Rakuten has its own website where users can head and earn cashbacks. You can also download Rakuten Cash Back Button on your browser and lastly you can install it’s app in your phone to get all the offers and cashbacks.
Dosh is a mobile cash back app where users can get offers and cashbacks on several restaurants and bars. They just need to link their one credit and debit card to their account. If a user is new and links the credit/debit for the first time, they get free $5 in their account. The app does not only work with big food conglomerates but also ties up with local restaurants and bars.
FetchRewards is also giving fierce competition to GetUpside. It is a site that offers points through which users can redeem gift cards. Users just have to upload bill receipts of their purchases and if the app sees you have brought a product from one of their partners, it will offer you points.
Other than these top 5 cashback apps. There are many other cashbacks that come up and are giving competition to GetUpside including Costo, Strom X, Cashrewards, Snapcart,etc.