shopkick was founded in June 2009 by Cyriac Roeding, Jeff Sellinger, Aaron Emigh, and is funded by Kleiner Perkins' iFund, Greylock Partners and Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, and investor in Facebook and Zynga, and Ron Conway.
shopkick bridges the worlds of mobile and physical retail. In August 2010, shopkick launched the first mobile application that hands consumers rewards and exclusive deals at shopkick's national retail partners simply for walking into thousands of stores and malls. shopkick created a new location technology that allows the app to verify the user is actually present inside a store (GPS is too inaccurate for that). shopkick broadcasts an inaudible audio signal at a high-pitch frequency that can be picked up by a smartphone's microphone, either through the store's existing music system or through a small transmitter. The shopkick app decodes the signal and the user receives shopkick's universal reward currency called "kicks."
Like advertisers can get measurable click traffic in the online world on Google, they can get measurable foot traffic and product engagement in the real world through shopkick. Shopkick generates and directs intent at home and in the store. Shopkick's growing partner alliance includes Target, Macy's, Old Navy, Best Buy, American Eagle, Crate & Barrel, Sports Authority, Toys"R"Us, Simon Malls (largest U.S. mall operator), Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Intel, HP, Disney, General Mills, Colgate, Clorox, Revlon, Levi's. The app was rated the #4 most widely used shopping app in the U.S. in 2012 by Nielsen, ahead of Starbucks and Target, and any other physical retailers' proprietary apps, and the #1 most engaging app (minutes spent per month per user). Target rolled out shopkick nationwide to all its 1,700 U.S. stores in 2012, after testing it for 1 1/2 years and getting "rave reviews."
Shopkick also rewards users for their actual purchases, requiring no technical integration from retailers, through partnerships with MasterCard and Visa.
Shopkick announced its first profitable quarter in Q4 2012, and drove $200M in sales for its partners in 2012, after its new app version 3.0 had led to large surges in engagement.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) named shopkick a Tech Pioneer 2013, a recognition previously given to Twitter, Google and Wikipedia. one of the World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Retail by Fast Company along with Apple, Groupon and Amazon.com, and one of the Wall Street Journal's Top 10 Apps.
The shopkick app is available for download for the iPhone and for Android (free).