FlyCoin, a cryptocurrency-based travel rewards technology
company, has raised more than $33 million in an oversubscribed seed round.
The funding was led by Josh Jones, who
founded Bitcoin Builder in 2012 and is now chair of FlyCoin’s board and oversees
the company’s technology development. Also participating in the seed round were TenOneTen
Ventures, 8VC, Liquid 2, Gaingels and individual investors Michael Blend and
FlyCoin provides companies in travel and hospitality, as
well as other consumer-facing sectors such as insurance and financial services,
with a blockchain-based loyalty solution. Users can earn FlyCoin’s FLY token –
minted on the Ethereum blockchain - which does not have the limitations associated
with traditional loyalty rewards such as expiration dates, lack of
transferability and limited redemption options.
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“The travel and rewards industry will exceed $1.4
trillion by 2023. With figures like those, it’s time to bring smarter rewards
to the people who make the industry as successful as it is: the travelers.
FlyCoin is the next generation of digital rewards, and the evolution of a
decades-old industry - one that is past due for a digital transformation,”
Founded in October 2021, FlyCoin’s partners include Northern Pacific Airways and
Ravn Alaska, which is already enabling customers to earn FLY tokens on all paid
“The rewards and benefits industry, across verticals, has
remained stagnant and limited with how it has been rewarding customer loyalty,
until today,” says Lenny Moon, CEO of FlyCoin.
“FlyCoin is progressing the industry forward by rewarding
customers with a cryptocurrency where the issuer cannot dictate the rules of
expiration or intentionally depreciate its value. We are grateful for the
engaged support from our investor base. We plan to aggressively build out the
platform and secure additional partners to start growing the FLY ecosystem.”
In Q3 of this year FlyCoin says it will release a
consumer-facing app and an API for partnership integration. FLY tokens will become
tradeable on various cryptocurrency exchanges later this year.
Fida is another blockchain-based loyalty token in
development for use by travel brands. Founder Mark McLaughlin spoke about the
benefits of decentralized
tokens for loyalty during the December PhocusWire Pulse.
Another type of blockchain-based solution – NFTs – are also
gaining traction in travel rewards. In early January Travala, one of PhocusWire’s
Hot 25 Startups for 2022, launched
an NFT-based travel rewards program.
Also in January, a Singapore-based
company, LynKey, announced an NFT-based platform for resorts and hotels to “tokenize
all aspects of property development – purchases, leases, land use and related
tourism entertainment – into an international blockchain-powered ecosystem.”