Posted on Tuesday, October 20th, 2015 at 7:00 am
Ibotta is a mobile shopping app. It helps people save money without requiring them to use coupons. Instead, it functions like a rebate system. Ibotta recently obtained additional funding which should keep the app going for a while.
TechCrunch reported at the end of September, 2015, that Ibotta closed $40 million in Series C funding. Those funds will be used to scale its business. The funding round was led by Jim Clark, who is the founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape (and an Ibotta board member).
The thing that makes Ibotta different from other coupon apps is that it doesn’t involve any coupons at all. Instead, it enables shoppers who use the Ibotta app to get cash back on certain purchases. Other apps might “pay” users in points that can be used to buy something worthwhile.
One way to use Ibotta is by submitting a receipt. Before you go shopping, unlock cash rewards on great products by completing simple tasks. Some of those tasks may include: “liking” a company on Facebook, watching a video, taking a poll, playing trivia, learning a fact about a company or product, or telling Ibotta how much you like a specific product.
Next, go shopping. Make sure you purchase the products that you have unlocked at a supported store. Check the Ibotta website for a list of supported stores. After your purchase, scan your product barcodes and submit a photo of your receipt to Ibotta. Within 48 hours, Ibotta will have the cash deposited to your Ibotta account.
Another way to use Ibotta is to choose one of their Preferred Partners and connect either your store loyalty card or your phone number to Ibotta. As before, you need to do tasks to unlock products before you shop. After that, use your loyalty card or phone number at check out. Ibotta will put the cash into your Ibotta account within 48 hours.
In addition, you can use Ibotta to get cash back when you shop online. You might receive Ibotta promo codes or bonuses that will help save you money on your purchases. According to the Ibotta website, you can give your friends $1, and yourself $2, every time a friend joins Ibotta with your referral code. (That friend has to redeem a rebate within two weeks).
Overall, Ibotta might be a good thing for people who love to shop, and who have a lot of friends who also love to shop. It’s great for people who don’t like using coupons and who want to earn cash back from using Ibotta. It might not be an ideal app for people who prefer coupons or who don’t want to try and convince their friends to use the Ibotta app. Some people might find the tasks Ibotta requires to be tedious.