Cashback apps and rewards are common ways for consumers to earn a little supplementary income. But many have a narrow scope, meaning that their users are limited in both how much money they can earn back and how they can earn that money.
The Fluz App wants to change that. Fluz adds a new dynamic to the cashback system: networking. Users generate rewards on both their own purchases and also the purchases of their friends who use the app.
We recently sat down with co-founder Maurice Harary to talk about how the Fluz App works, how they differentiate from competition, and where the company is headed…
Can you give us a brief elevator pitch for your company?
Now, more than ever, is a time to earn extra money. Fluz helps you earn exponentially.
Earning fractions of a percent back on your own purchases won’t change your life. But Fluz members earn at an exponential rate — up to a meaningful full-time income. With Fluz, members earn fractions of a percent from a network of thousands.
Fluz helps you earn while you sleep: members use Fluz to earn cash back on their everyday shopping. But unlike other rewards programs, Fluz harnesses social networks to earn cash back for an ever-expanding web of connections. Whenever you, your friends, or even their friends make a purchase, you keep earning. And they earn, too.
You can use Fluz to pay at all of your favorite stores and earn instant cash back. Fluz rewards can be stacked with other cashback offers and coupons. If you have a rewards credit card, you are able to double dip the rewards points with the cash you get from Fluz. You’ll get cashback not only on your own everyday purchases, you’ll also get cash back when your friends and their friends buy things too — today, tomorrow, forever … as long as you are a Fluz Member.
What inspired you to take the leap and build this company?
I was in the ecommerce business for 7+ years, selling all sorts of products online. I started Fluz as a side project to sell some gift cards. I decided to run a small pilot in Latin America in a test market to learn the business. I had no idea how big this could be or how much it would take to get the business going.
After a successful pilot, I decided to launch the business in the US market. I understood that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity but would be challenging to execute. I was faced with the tough decision, try to keep building this as a side project or go all in. My traditional ecommerce business was profitable and safe. Fluz was exciting but uncertain. I will let you guess which option I chose.
What past experiences prepared you to start, build, and lead your company?
Prior to launching Fluz, I was already running various ecommerce businesses. I was selling on my own websites as well as various marketplaces. I bring experience from the ecommerce industry where I touched various aspects including sourcing merchandise, developing technical products, customer end-to-end experience, operations and financial controls around digital businesses.
The other team members bring experience from banking, Artificial Intelligence, enterprise ecommerce, direct selling, influencer and artist marketing. With these areas of expertise, I was able to help develop a product that can reliably engage customers and even tap into a larger push with artists and influencers.
Do you or your business have a driving mission or philosophy?
Fluz strives to build a product interwoven into the lives of our consumers. We see tremendous opportunity in the market. We are starting with cash back rewards, but [we] have our eyes set on so much more. This ambition is not without challenges. We understand the long term investment required to establish ourselves as the leader we are looking to become.
People join the Fluz for all the things we can help them do. They stay because of all the things Fluz can help them become. Connections between people are the core of our product. The community is what makes Fluz unique, the glue that connects our members. It is the special spice making our age old Mac & Cheese recipe taste better than the box you can buy at the supermarket. It is what brings us all together and propels us forward. With the community, our customers feel connected to one another and us to our customers.
Do you have any competition, if so, how do you differentiate?
Lots of companies do cash back. No one does it like us. Fluz is a mashup of cash back, social shopping and networking. Other apps give you cash back or rewards on your purchases, and they might even pay you for inviting others, but that’s it. Fluz is reinventing cashback to give you more. You’ll get cash back not only on your own everyday purchases, you’ll also get cash back when your friends and their friends buy things too — today, tomorrow, forever … as long as you are a Fluz Member.
Fluz is the cashback app that gives you the potential to make real passive income. You’ll earn money on everyday purchases like food, TV, rides, movies and clothes, and earn even more when your friends (and their friends) buy stuff too.
At a time when people are looking for ways to stretch their dollars, Fluz is an opportunity for members to earn from home. Friends are our biggest influencers in what we like, what we do, and where we go — people love sharing all the new ways to make life better. Fluz is the only app that fully recognizes this existing social economy and rewards people who amplify it.
What does your business model look like?
Members purchase a digital gift card through the Fluz mobile app. The Fluz app offers cash back to the member making the payment and the one that invited them. That cash back is funded by the merchant partners in the form of a discount on the gift card. Part of the discount goes to the customer, their direct and indirect inviters in the form of cash back and the remainder stays with the company as our profit. Overall, Fluz is earning 1.2% gross margin on each transaction made with the app.
What brought you to equity crowdfunding and how do you intend to use the money you raise this round to scale the business?
Fluz has been and will continue to be built by the community. Crowdfunding was a perfect opportunity for us to deepen the relationship with the community we have and expand it at the same time.
To date, the success of Fluz is due exclusively to our passionate community. They are the members going out and sharing Fluz with their friends. They already treated Fluz as if it was their own, before becoming owners. They wanted the opportunity to also become shareholders in the company.
Furthermore, we are looking to expand our community with a new set of leaders. We are looking to attract more members with skin in the game. As shareholders, no matter how large or small, they will create more value for the business.
We intend to allocate the funds raised in this round to acquire more customers and help build up our user base. We will begin building out a digital party program where Fluz leaders can host their own events with better pricing. We will launch new payment programs for members to pay with their bank accounts, thus increasing our overall gross profit per transaction. And we will begin aggressively pursuing more influencers to promote the product to their followers, growing the business further.
What do you want potential investors to know about you and/or your company?
Fluz is committed to becoming a long term leader in the space. Enterprise players are pouring in from surrounding sectors while new giants are emerging rapidly. Our goal is to quickly dig our feet deep into the sand, firming our position with our customers and the marketplace.
We will continue to invest in the development of products with the long term view in mind. We are building connections with our customer base that will yield a sizable return at scale. We are recruiting talent with an emphasis on long term compensation rather than cash. We know our success will be largely driven by our teams ability to think like, and effectively become, an owner. We will make bold investment (time, energy and financial) decisions where we see a reasonable chance of gaining long term market leadership. Some of these will pay off; others will not. We will move fast to identify the ones that do based on predefined measurable goals. We will learn from the failures and build on our successes.
We are at the outset of something amazing. The product is in its infancy. We are looking to expand on our network based cash-back app. We require ongoing investment in infrastructure, systems, communications and customer acquisition. We are committed to refine the product, making a more streamlined customer experience. The goal is to earn our customers’ trust and love.
As you think about the business 5-10 years down the road, what do you see exit opportunities looking like? have you set any future goals for the company?
In 5+ years, I am hoping to achieve the goal of the Fluz app being the single “money button” on every body’s phone. People will use Fluz to pay friends, stores and anything else they may need. They can get their paycheck there, manage personal financials and so much more. We will establish the social side of the business where we have thousands of people also building their Fluz network as gig workers, earning a full time income through our product.
We see potential exits through a strategic acquisition or a public listing. As we continue to develop the Fluz brand with the consumer, we become a better target for countless consumer companies looking to expand into the payments space.
We are excited to see where Maurice and his team take the company. Fluz is currently raising on StartEngine.
About: Olivia Strobl
Olivia comes to KingsCrowd with a background in venture capital and technology. She spent time at Glasswing Ventures, an AI-focused venture fund in Boston, before joining the KingsCrowd team. There she helped develop machine learning algorithms for the opportunity qualification of preseed and seed-stage startup companies. Prior to her time at Glasswing, Olivia worked in a lab studying the neural correlates of attention. She holds a degree in Neuroscience from Wellesley College.