Swipely Swipes $12M More to Advance “Operating System for Local Commerce”

Don’t look now, but Swipely is becoming a big player.

The Providence, RI-based startup led by Angus Davis (of Tellme Networks fame) has just raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Shasta Ventures. Previous investors First Round Capital, Greylock Partners, and Index Ventures also participated in the round, which is one of the largest Series B investments in a software company in Rhode Island history.

The deal brings Swipely’s total equity capital raised to just over $20 million, by my count. (Some useful investor context to go along with mocking commentary in PandoDaily here.)

As usual, the interesting part isn’t necessarily the financing. Davis, who is Swipely’s CEO and founder, hinted back in December that the money was coming. What’s interesting is how his company has been executing on its strategy to “turn credit card data into marketing programs that work,” in his words, over the past year.

Swipely started out in 2009 in social shopping. When that didn’t pan out, it changed up and leaped headfirst into payments, marketing, and loyalty programs for local businesses in 2011-2012—all based around credit card transactions.

The company found its niche in that market, and now says it has hundreds of merchant customers (mostly restaurants and stores) in 130 cities, for whom it collectively manages $700 million-plus in credit card sales.

The big challenge now is to cut through all the noise and hype around payments and local marketing and sign up a lot more customers to its payments and marketing-analytics platform.

Indeed, with the new financing, Swipely plans to hire more staff and “help thousands more merchants across the U.S. succeed with the data and tools they need to make smarter, faster business decisions,” says Davis in a blog post. Intriguingly, he adds that “as we grow our network, we will also expand our product set into a broader operating system for local commerce.”

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