Denver-Based Ibotta Reaches Milestone
American consumers have redeemed $500 million for using the Ibotta app making purchases in stores or online
This week, shopping savings app Ibotta celebrates a major milestone: they have given American consumers $500 million for using the free app when they make purchases in stores or online.
Ibotta launched with a handful of employees working in a windowless basement of a LoDo firehouse with the goal of building a large consumer-facing tech company in Denver, despite doubts from investors on both coasts. Against these odds, they were not only able to build on an ambitious scale, but to use local talent: they now have more than 600 employees, almost all of whom work in Colorado. According to founder and CEO, Bryan Leach, “Ibotta’s $500 Million Moment is an opportunity to reflect on the role that our local community has played in helping us thrive.”
Investors told Ibotta their product would appeal to a niche of savers, but to date, more than 30 million people have downloaded the free app. The $500 million milestone is a measure of how much they’ve helped people save money at a time when the real wages of the middle class have been stagnant for a generation.
Denver’s population has been a critical success factor in Ibotta’s ability to serve their mission. As being an app for everyday consumers looking to save money in their daily routine. Denver’s shopping patterns are more accurately representative of how most Americans shop than cities like San Francisco or New York City, making it easier to develop and test new products locally, knowing that they are more likely to appeal to a mainstream audience.
At the time of Ibotta’s first product launch in 2012, Denver lacked many of the compelling attributes that help to propel its tech scene today. Denver Startup Week (which now boasts over 19,000 attendees annually) was just getting its start. Gradually, the accomplishments of Ibotta’s peers in the tech community lent legitimacy to their efforts, especially for investors who had previously doubted whether there was a critical mass of talent along the Front Range.
The collective success of companies like Craftsy, Datalogix, SendGrid, and Zayo Group helped prove that companies in this part of the world could have successful exits that generate attractive returns for investors at all stages. The success of local start-ups also helped solve Denver’s “second move” problem, meaning that employees considering relocating to Denver to work for Ibotta now know that they will have other compelling options to continue advancing their career without having to change cities.
“We are all grateful to call the city of Denver home, to have built such a talented team here, and to be part of this thriving ecosystem of founders, pioneers, and risk-taking employees,” said Leach.