Cartera Commerce Pockets $12.2M for Card-Linked Deals Tech

Less than a year ago Cartera Commerce CEO Tom Beecher said local merchants were the fastest growing piece of his company, which helps businesses and financial institutions offer card-linked deals to consumers. And now, he says, they’re “a key reason” the company has closed a new $12.2 million round of financing to put toward new sales, product development, and operations efforts.

The deal, announced today, was led by West Palm Beach, FL-based Comvest, which is a new investor for Cartera, but had previously backed the Atlanta-based competitor Vesdia that Cartera merged with last year. The financing also included return Cartera investors Flybridge Capital, Dace Ventures, LBO Enterprises, and Venture Capital Fund of New England, and brings Cartera’s funding total to $43 million.

Cartera now has 60 people of its 200-plus person staff dedicated to sales and services for local merchants, Beecher says. The rise (and perhaps fall) in group-buying startups has pushed many local deals and loyalty programs players (like Providence, RI-based Swipely) to emerge, but Beecher says his company sees “more and more the benefit of having gotten there first.” Cartera got its start in 2005 as Mall Networks, a provider of online destinations where credit card holders and members of airline frequent flyer programs could shop major brands and earn rewards. It later broadened its focus to enable consumers to earn these points both in-store and online through offers linked to their credit and debit cards.

With the new cash, the company hopes to build out its capabilities for offering discounts based on consumers’ location.”The local and mobile connection makes a lot of sense,” Beecher says. It will also develop technology to support the boom in mobile payment technology, by linking the merchant deals not just to the plastic credit cards, but the payment solutions available on phones, he says.

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