Claim, a social network raises $4M

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Claim, a unique platform merging a rewards app with a social network, has successfully raised $4 million in a seed funding round led by Sequoia Capital. Launched in January on an invite-only beta, the startup is currently targeting university and college students in Boston, aiming to transform the shopping experience into a fun, rewarding, and social activity.

The platform enables users and their friends to earn cash back, exchange rewards, and redeem them collectively. Unlike traditional social networks focused on manufactured content and reposts, Claim emphasizes real-world value and communal experiences. Founded by CEO Sam Obletz and CTO Tap Stephenson in November 2021, the startup originated from their shared interest in digital ownership, sparked during their time at Yale and solidified at Harvard Business School.

Claim began as a vision for a platform where users could earn real-world rewards linked to their credit cards. Evolving further, the founders decided to enable users to share and exchange rewards, creating a social mechanism that fills a gap in the current landscape. Claim transforms consumer rewards into a multiplayer game, allowing users to have new experiences together while saving money.

The platform introduces a novel way for users to share rewards with friends, making the experience akin to trading cards but for brands. Users can send special rewards, try new places together, and earn status from spending at brands. Claim conducts a weekly “drop” where users simultaneously unwrap a new reward, giving them the option to redeem, gift, or trade it with friends.

Claim not only benefits consumers but also provides a unique avenue for marketers and brands to connect with customers without resorting to traditional advertising. Brands are discovered through rewards shared by friends, offering a more engaging and effective approach to reaching new customers. The platform has already demonstrated promising results with partners hitting new customer goals and acquiring customers with high repeat rates.

Currently focusing on Gen Z, Claim plans to continue testing in Boston, where it boasts over 10,000 users, before expanding nationally. The new funding will be instrumental in hiring talent, growing the team, and conducting further testing and learning from an engineering perspective. The seed round follows an unannounced $2 million pre-seed round, with investors including Susa Ventures, Box Group, 6th Man Venture, Reflexive Capital, A* Capital, GSW Ventures, The Kraft Group, and more participating.

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