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How Does Ibotta Make Money? The Ibotta Business Model In A Nutshell

Ibotta is a mobile technology company founded in 2012 by Bryan Leach, who envisioned a service allowing consumers to simply upload a photo of the receipt and receive instant cashback. Indeed, Ibotta makes money via affiliate fees and advertising.

Origin Story

Ibotta is a North American mobile technology company founded in 2012 by Bryan Leach.

Leach had the idea for the company after observing a passenger uploading a receipt for an expense report on an international flight. He envisioned a service allowing consumers to simply upload a photo of the receipt and receive instant cashback. What’s more, cashback could be earned for any product or service – whether that be online or offline.

Early versions of the app were limited to groceries and everyday purchases. Alcohol, travel, and clothing purchases followed in 2014, and two years later, online and mobile purchase functionality was added. Consumers can now pay for an entire purchase and earn cashback instantly via the Pay with Ibotta service.

Today, the Ibotta app partners with more than 1,500 brands and retailers. Over $860 million has been paid back to the user base of 35 million in the past seven years.

Ibotta revenue generation

The company ethos states that it is better to pay consumers than advertise to them. To that end, Ibotta shares a portion of its revenue with the consumer as part of the cashback scheme.

This begs the question – how exactly does it generate revenue?

Keep reading to find out!

Affiliate commissions

When an Ibotta user makes an eligible purchase, the company receives an affiliate commission from one of its advertising partners. These partners are some of the biggest brands in the world, including Kellogg’s, Amazon, Target, Uber, and Coca-Cola.

While it could be argued that these brands could advertise their own products, they are in effect paying for access to a highly targeted audience. Indeed, most of the Ibotta user base is comprised of middle to upper-middle-class female millennials. Brands can also target consumers on the Ibotta platform on multiple channels and at different stages of the buying journey

The exact commission is negotiated between both parties and is based on purchasing volume. However, it is typically in the range of 3 to 10%.

In some cases, the company also makes money by asking users to watch short videos or complete surveys to unlock special deals.

Advertising

The Ibotta platform does feature advertising in the form of video content and other promotional material.

Once again, brands pay Ibotta for the additional exposure to a highly targeted audience. They can elect to pay for advertisements on a per-impression or fixed-fee basis.

Key takeaways:

  • Ibotta is a North American mobile technology company operating a cash-back shopping app. It was founded by Bryan Leach in 2012 after he watched an airline passenger go through the tedious process of uploading receipts for an expense report.
  • Ibotta earns affiliate commissions from some of the biggest brands in the world. When a user makes an eligible purchase, the brand pays Ibotta a fee of between 3 and 10%.

Read Next: How Does Acorns Make Money, How Does Honey Make Money, The Walmart Business Model, How Does Instacart Make Money.

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