St. Paul-based customer loyalty firm Augeo is ramping up its presence in the fintech space.
Late last week, the company announced that it has acquired San Diego-based Empyr, a fintech company that promotes card-linked deals for several national brands, including Pizza Hut, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Under Armour. The transaction is Augeo’s fourth in the fintech space, the company said in a news release. Financial terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.
Together, Augeo and Empyr will launch a new firm known as “Figg,” a nod to the eponymous plant. Per Augeo’s news release: “Augeo will continue to serve its extensive clientele independently, while the new company will represent one of the largest user bases in the card-linking industry, with more than 60 million users and $300 billion in transaction volume. Figg will bring new card-linked opportunities for advertisers, publishers, and consumers.”
David Kristal, Augeo’s CEO, acknowledges that the timing of the acquisition “might seem counter-intuitive.”
“We believe there is an urgent need to bring advanced technology and more encompassing advertiser offer content to consumers seeking greater value,” said Kristal, who will also serve as Figg’s executive chairman. “Some retail sectors like grocery, household essentials, and health-related products are near capacity, while the travel industry, hospitality, restaurants and many local service businesses are battling to stay afloat. As things begin to improve, Figg will be uniquely positioned to connect consumers with advertisers to help accelerate commerce in the U.S. market.”
Valor Siren Ventures, a private equity fund that’s received backing from Starbucks Corp., helped Augeo complete the transaction, though no specifics were mentioned.
In September 2019, Kristal appeared on TCB’s “By All Means” podcast shortly after the company acquired MotivAction, an employee-focused engagement firm. Before founding Augeo, Kristal worked with his father Henry, co-founder of the erstwhile Embers restaurant chain.