French start-up Joko has raised €10m ($11.7m) in a funding round led by Partech, with participation from Axeleo and Lafayette Plug & Play. Founded in late 2018 by Nicolas Salat-Baroux, Xavier Starkloff and Alexandre Hollocou, Joko offers a loyalty programme that is available at many partner retailers, including Carrefour, Apple, Decathlon and Nike. The mobile application allows consumers to connect their bank account and automatically earn points with every purchase made using their credit or debit card, whether in-store or online. The accumulated points can then be converted into real money, gift cards or donations to charities. The fintech, which has 500,000 users and 1,000 partners, makes money through its affiliate model and the sale of aggregated, anonymised consumer data. With the funding, Joko aims to expand internationally, starting with Europe, and develop new features.
Partech is a global investment firm with offices in San Francisco, Paris, Berlin and Dakar. It has invested in over 180 technology companies, including firms such as Bird, Made.com and Sigfox. Axeleo is a French seed-stage investment fund that has backed over 50 start-ups since its founding in 2014. Lafayette Plug & Play is a French accelerator programme that supports start-ups in the retail industry, with partners including the Galeries Lafayette department store.
Joko's funding round comes as the cashback and loyalty sector is growing, with companies such as Fidel, Dosh and Drop also raising funds recently. The sector is becoming increasingly competitive, with the rise of challenger banks and the focus on customer experience driving companies to offer greater rewards and incentives for customer loyalty. Nevertheless, Joko's focus on offering rewards for everyday purchases and its ability to partner with well-known retailers has allowed it to establish a strong position in the market.