Zurp Raises $5 Million for Creator Experience Rewards Credit Card
A FinTech looking to marry credit card rewards with the creator economy has just closed a fresh round of funding. This week, Zurp announced that it had raised $5 million to create a “credit card for experiences.” New Form, MAGIC Fund, Launchpad VC, OVO Fund, Darling Ventures, and Animal Capital all participated in the pre-seed fund along with a number of strategic investors.
Zurp is a startup looking to create a credit card that enables customers to support their favorite creators. Creators who participate in the program will each have their own card that fans will be able to sign up for. Then, the creator will earn a percentage of purchases made with these cards, while fans earn points that can be cashed in for exclusive experiences. The Zurp credit card will be launched in partnership with Mastercard and First Pryority Bank and is expected to debut in the first quarter of this year. In contrast to regular credit cards, the Zurp card will function like a secured card, which will prevent fans from going into debt.
Elaborating on the idea behind Zurp, the company’s co-CEO Troy Osinoff explained, “Everyone has their favorite creators whose content they love to watch and follow. They want to feel like they’re a part of the creator’s life, which has typically been a one-way street until now. Zurp is giving creators an opportunity to give back to their followers by offering exclusive experiences essentially for free, while still creating a new stream of income.” As for how the product will also benefit customers, Osinoff added, “Financial literacy is an important topic across all generations, especially now with the economy shifting. Zurp’s goal is to help users improve their personal finances and help creators strengthen their relationships with their followers in a fun, engaging way where everyone wins.”
Commenting on why Animal Capital invested in Zurp, managing partner Marshall Sandman said, “The Zurp team has identified a compelling gap in the market. After a proliferation of neobanks and creator monetization tools, which have almost entirely fallen flat, Zurp’s experience and creator platform credit card business has a huge opportunity to succeed. We couldn’t be more excited to support the team and the idea!”
While the concept of Zurp is interesting on its own, the story of how the startup got to this point is even more fascinating. As Axios reports, Zurp was originally conceived as a crypto company building a yield product and even raised part of its funding under than original pitch. However, after seeing the woes that DeFi firms, such as Luna were experiencing at the time, the company pivoted and landed on the current path.
For those who are skeptical of online creators and influencers, the Zurp card’s concept could easily induce an eye roll or two. However, these critics may be underestimating just how popular certain personalities are and how many fans might be willing to participate in such a program. That said, seeing as online creators have been known to land themselves in hot water from time, this seems to be one potential problem Zurp could encounter if it doesn’t choose its partners carefully. Nevertheless, it will definitely be interesting to see if the startup can deliver on its post-pivot concept.