Our Investment In Miles: The First Travel-Focused Rewards App
Loyalty programs play an increasingly significant role in today’s evolving travel ecosystem. When designed well, these programs help brands better understand their customers and craft products and services that better suit and resonate with them. This can lead to longer-term relationships and more meaningful engagement between companies and their consumers.
However, loyalty programs can also be cost-prohibitive and might not make sense for businesses at certain stages. So how can those companies engage customers beyond traditional means? Enter Miles — a universal rewards platform and app that connects merchants to an active and interested consumer base. Available now on Android and iOS, Miles allows anyone with a smartphone to earn miles for all their travel and transportation, regardless of mode.
“Go a mile, get a mile”
The value proposition of Miles is simple: for every mile you go, you earn a “mile” in reward value that’s automatically added to your account. It’s a loyalty platform that rewards daily movement, tiered according to your type of transportation — healthier and more eco-friendly modes of travel, such as public transport, biking or walking, earn more miles than driving a car, for example. (Users also earn for every airline mile traveled!)
Accumulated “miles” balances can then be redeemed for products or discounts from a variety of reward partners. Currently, there are 75 brands offering more than 120 exclusive rewards available on the platform. These merchants span a number of industries like entertainment, hotels, personal care, auto repair, clothing, car rentals, experiences, and more. Reward offerings are curated for users based on their movement patterns and habits, increasing relevance for both merchants and users. This personalization increases stickiness and brings users back into the app to discover and redeem more rewards.
Miles taps into what consumers are doing on a day-to-day basis. Every day, we all have to get from point A to point B. With Miles, no matter how you travel, you earn rewards and businesses can interact and engage with you in a simple, unobtrusive way.
Why we invested
Miles’ mobility-based loyalty platform aligns with our investment theme of ‘Innovations in Revenue, Distribution & Loyalty.’ The wide variety of rewards, coupled with the novel approach to earning them, puts Miles in a category of its own. That’s exactly the kind of investment we look for: a category-creator that’s poised to grow a first-mover advantage into a sustainable business. We’re excited by Miles’ early traction and growing user base as well as its ability to help companies acquire and keep customers through more effective and relevant marketing.
The app’s journey data, which is opt-in and anonymized, is insightful and powerful. The data can inform not just merchants and consumers, but also cities looking to incentivize public or alternative transportation. Already Miles is teaming up with several cities including Sacramento and Contra Costa Transportation Authority to offer bonus miles and rewards to promote greener travel. Other cities including Aspen have conducted pilots with Miles to offer rewards that encourage users to choose public transit or stay off of highways during commute time.
“New technology like the Miles app may allow cities to offer carrots to downtown employees to leave their cars at home.” — StreetsBlog
As Miles scales, the company can better enable businesses to foster new relationships with an engaged customer base, all in a hyper-targeted fashion. Reward partners benefit from targeted customer acquisition based on interests and location as well as insights on customer behaviors.
It’s a fresh and innovative approach to both modern mobility and consumer marketing, and we’re excited to be along for the ride.