Loyalty marketing firm Augeo has partnered with a former executive of Starbucks Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. to launch an engagement company built around digital assets.
The new company, Kigo, is a spinoff combining St. Paul-based Augeo’s cryptocurrency loyalty subsidiary, called Heaps, with Thred, an NFT engagement platform, according to an announcement made Tuesday. The launch of the new firm was facilitated by $16 million in financing, including $6.5 million in commitments from Augeo and Chicago-based investment firm Valor Siren Ventures.
The new company was co-founded by Ben Straley, who previously served as CEO of Thred, as well as as vice president of global digital products for Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) and head of global outbound marketing and deals for Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), according to his LinkedIn page. Straley will continue with Kigo as president.Kigo’s platform looks to offer organizations a better way to engage their employees and customers though what the company calls an “open loyalty” type of engagement. This allows brands to leverage digital asset rewards, like collectibles and digital art, to enhance their existing loyalty programs, create and manage their own type of engagement experiences, allow customers or employees to share rewards, as well as take part in cross-brand collaborations, according to its website.