Portfolio January 31, 2012

Cardspring Launches Payment Network Platform

Bringing Payments to the Cloud

By , and

We’re pleased to announce our investment in CardSpring today, alongside our friends at Accel. We originally invested with Accel and several others in CardSpring’s seed round out of our Discovery Fund last year, so we’ve had the opportunity to partner with the team and see them in action. CEO Eckart Walther and the core team have great experience building scalable platforms at companies like Google, Demandtec, Tellme and Netscape, and we think they have the potential to build another significant company with CardSpring.

We’re big believers at Greylock in the “online-to-offline commerce” opportunity. Consumers often research online and then actually transact offline. While online commerce is significant at almost $200 billion annually, the offline commerce market is still over 10x larger (ie trillions of dollars). We’ve invested in a number of promising companies who are innovating in different facets of online-to-offline commerce including Groupon,, Shopkick, Wrapp, Swipely, TrialPay, and now CardSpring.

CardSpring’s vision is big and exciting. Their technology is super-charging the payment network, by bringing it into the cloud. For developers, CardSpring built a Payment Network Platform that lets them create a wide variety of new apps for credit cards and debit cards. CardSpring isn’t building apps. They’re connecting into the payment network and creating a smart layer to make app development for credit cards simple and secure.

For consumers, CardSpring’s technology will enable you to add apps to your credit cards, in the same way that you add apps to your iPhone today.  So you can click on an offer that you see in an online ad (15 bucks off your next oil change) to add the offer to your credit card. You can easily add a loyalty card (ie Starbucks), gift card (ie Best Buy) or a coupon (ie Groupon) to your credit card, and then the next time you’re in a store and pay with your credit card, you’ll automatically receive the benefit. You could also opt-in to receive a text message reminder based on your credit card purchase to check in, write a review, or receive a digital receipt.

For online publishers and marketers, CardSpring is a vehicle for closing the redemption loop. So a marketer can tie the performance of an online ad campaign directly to the resulting offline transactions. It’s like Google AdWords for online-to-offline commerce, where performance is measured in actual transactions instead of click-throughs.

Congrats to CardSpring on the launch of your Payment Network Platform! We’re excited to be working with you.

CardSpring’s vision is big and exciting. Their technology is super-charging the payment network, by bringing it into the cloud.