Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Shopping app Checkmate raises $15M Series A

Checkmate's shopping app pictured on a mobile phone.

Photo: Courtesy of Checkmate

Checkmate, a provider of digital shopping tools, raised a $15 million Series A round led by GV (Google Ventures), the company's co-founders Rory Garton-Smith and Harry Dixon tell Axios.

Why it matters: The startup's initial focus is customizing savings for each user to help brands acquire customers comes as tech giants Google and Apple enact privacy changes.

  • The ultimate destination, however, is to personalize the entire end-to-end shopping experience, GV partner Frédérique Dame tells Axios.

Details: GV is joined by investors Mantis VC (The Chainsmokers), Common Metal, BDuck Capital and Black Angels Group.

  • Existing investors Wischoff Ventures, Fuel Capital, Blackbird Ventures, F7 Ventures, Night Capital and Scribble Ventures are also participating, as well as reality star Paris Hilton.
  • Proceeds will be invested in new hires and marketing and to satisfy the startup's capital needs for the next two-to-three years, the co-founders say.
  • Previously Checkmate raised a $5 million seed round last September.

What they're saying: "When you understand what makes someone tick, there's better conversion at checkout. It’s a win, win for everyone," Dame says of Checkmate's technology.

  • Providing every shopper with the same discount code isn't going to be as effective as tailoring an incentive to a particular shopper's needs, she says.
  • One customer, for example, may want free shipping, while another may want a discount on products from their favorite sneaker brand.
  • Checkmate not only provides savings, but it also adds discovery to the shopping experience, Dame adds.

How it works: Checkmate leverages the hundreds of thousands of followers it's amassed across social media platforms such as TikTok.

  • For now, it is laser-focused on the female Gen Z consumer and has reeled in about 400,000 users on Apple's app store, with 55,000 of those active on a daily basis.
  • Via affiliate networks, Checkmate gets paid a high single-digit commission per transaction.

By the numbers: When it launched the app last fall, there were initially 100,000 sign-ups per hour.

  • That was how the startup got on investor GV's radar, the co-founders say.
  • It generates very roughly between $2 million and $5 million per day in GMV.
Go deeper