Mall Networks Helps Connect Consumer Rewards Programs to Hundreds of Top-Brand Online Retailers; Mall Networks, a New Company Funded by IDG Ventures Boston, Launches Online Shopping Malls for Leading Rewards Programs
LEXINGTON, MA – MARCH 13, 2006 – Mall Networks, Inc., the company that connects top online retailers to the universe of consumer rewards programs, today unveiled its industry-leading online shopping mall platform developed specifically for affinity rewards programs. In conjunction with today's launch, the company announced the close of its first round of funding from IDG Ventures Boston along with significant customer news including agreements with NASCAR RacePoints(SM) and Sports Loyalty Systems (see press release: Sports Loyalty Systems and Mall Networks Join Forces to Provide Online Shopping Malls to Major League Baseball Fan Loyalty Programs).
Founded by e-commerce veteran Dave Andre, Mall Networks has brought over 250 of the most trusted online retailers including Lands' End, Teleflora, Overstock.com and Travelocity(R) into one, easy-to-navigate online mall. Mall Networks customizes this mall for loyalty programs so they can increase member loyalty by providing a one-stop shopping mall where members can earn points for all of their purchases. Mall Networks has also developed an online fundraising mall that assists schools and notable non-profits like Epilepsy.com raise much needed funds year-round at no cost to their supporters.
"Any rewards program of meaningful size needs to have an online mall as part of their core offering to participants," said Dave Andre, founder and CEO of Mall Networks. "Online shopping is currently worth over $100 billion per year, and growing at an annual rate of over 20%. Program participants are making purchases every day that could strengthen their bond with their affinity organization. We are thrilled to have NASCAR RacePoints as one of our first partners because our online mall connects the fastest growing major sport with the fastest growing retail channel."
Mall Networks Powers NASCAR RacePoints Online Mall
NASCAR RacePoints(SM), the official rewards program of NASCAR, is the first fan loyalty program to offer its participants an online shopping mall using Mall Networks. At the NASCAR RacePoints Online Mall ( http://emall.racepoints.nascar.com ), fans can now earn points towards rewards when they shop at over 250 top-brand online retailers such as Nascar.com Superstore, The Home Depot and Office Depot.
"In addition to our earning opportunities from official NASCAR partners, Mall Networks has brought hundreds of online merchants into our rewards program with the flip of a switch," said Thorp Foster, president of NASCAR RacePoints. "It's essential to have a partner like Mall Networks who coordinates all the rewards transactions between these hundreds of online merchants and our hundreds of thousands of NASCAR RacePoints participants. The Mall Networks platform has integrated seamlessly into our points tracking platform."
Funding and Management Team
Mall Networks recently closed a Series A round of funding led by IDG Ventures Boston. Jeff Bussgang, general partner at IDG Ventures Boston has joined the company's board of directors.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Dave and his team at Mall Networks," said Bussgang. "With a management team that includes veteran loyalty program, e-commerce and Internet portal executives, and an impressive early customer list, Mall Networks is well positioned to become the leading provider of an online shopping loyalty platform."
Mall Networks is run by two of the leading experts in the e-commerce industry. Founder and CEO, Dave Andre was the founding CTO at Upromise, the largest consumer loyalty program in the US and before that was Vice President of Engineering at Lycos. Kimathi Marangu, Mall Networks' EVP of Business Development, was Vice President and GM eCommerce of Schoolpop, the largest online school fundraising company that rewards shoppers by donating rebates to their school of choice. Following his tenure at Schoolpop, Kimathi ran a boutique consulting business whose clients included the online Apple Store and Teleflora.com.
"In my experience, consumers appreciate receiving merchant offers that are tailored specifically to them – not to mention the rebates. It's a relationship that works for everyone concerned. At Mall Networks we've taken that idea and built a platform out of it – connecting many rewards programs with many merchants," said Marangu.
About Mall Networks
Mall Networks uses the power of affiliate networks to build shopping portals tailor-made for affinity organizations such as school districts, non-profits, sports teams, and consumer associations. With over 250 of the most trusted online retailers, the company enables affinity organizations to enhance their high-quality loyalty programs for their members with an easy-to-navigate online mall through which members earn points with every purchase. Founded in 2005, Mall Networks is a privately held company whose investors include IDG Ventures Boston. The company is headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts with offices in Silicon Valley. For more information go to www.mallnetworks.com
About NASCAR RacePoints(SM)
NASCAR fans can join NASCAR RacePoints, the Official Rewards Program of NASCAR, and be rewarded for their loyalty to the sponsors of the sport. Currently, MBNA America Bank, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, XM Satellite Radio, CENTRIX Financial, Goody's, Home123 Corporation, Jackson Hewitt, and the Official NASCAR Members Club are issuing NASCAR RacePoints. Additional issuing partners will be announced periodically, and an up-to-date list can always be found on the NASCAR RacePoints website. Fans can join NASCAR RacePoints for free by going to WWW.NASCAR.COM and clicking on NASCAR RacePoints.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR), which began in 1948, is the sanctioning body for one of America's premier sports. NASCAR is the #1 spectator sport – holding 17 of the top 20 attended sporting events in the U.S., the #2 rated regular-season sport on television with broadcasts in over 150 countries, and has 75 million fans that purchase over $2 billion in annual licensed product sales. These fans are the most brand loyal in all of sports and as a result, more Fortune 500 companies participate in NASCAR than any other sport.
NASCAR consists of three major national series (NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) as well as eight regional series and one local grassroots series. NASCAR sanctions 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 38 states, Canada and Mexico. Based in Daytona Beach (Fla.), NASCAR has offices in Bentonville (Ark.), Charlotte (N.C.), Concord (N.C.), Conover (N.C.), Los Angeles, New York, Mexico City and Toronto.
About IDG Ventures Boston
IDG Ventures Boston is a leading venture capital firm focused on investing in early-stage information and healthcare technology companies. With $280 million under management, the firm is an independent partnership making investments on behalf of its limited partners. The fund is affiliated with IDG Ventures, a global $1 billion network of funds spanning Asia, Europe and North America. International Data Group, the world's largest IT media, research, and event company, is the flagship limited partner for IDG Ventures Boston. Through the IDG global network, IDG Ventures Boston is able to uniquely add value to its portfolio companies by facilitating revenue acceleration and global expansion and establishing relationships with key strategic partners. For more information, visit www.idgventures.com .
Mall Networks is a trademark of Mall Networks, Inc. NASCAR (R), NASCAR.COM (R), and NASCAR RacePoints(SM) are trademarks owned by NASCAR, Inc.
All other names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.