Case Study

Ibotta’s Journey to Consumer Tech Unicorn Status

Evolving PR Programs for Digital Couponing Turned Payments Pioneer

  • Media Relations
  • Messaging
  • Analyst Relations
  • Content, Writing & Thought Leadership
42M+ impressions for key announcements
3 year partnership
1 Ultimate unicorn status

Our Approach

Powered by its mission to make every purchase rewarding, free mobile shopping app Ibotta partners with more than 1,500 leading brands and retailers to offer consumers cash rewards for both their online and in-store purchases. With over 35 million downloads, Ibotta is one of the top five most widely used shopping apps in the United States today.

Ibotta partnered with Barokas Communications starting in January 2016 to help drive general brand awareness and secure top-tier business, trade, consumer and tech media coverage. For nearly  three years, the team’s media relations strategies leaned heavily on Ibotta’s origin story, impressive bench of spokespeople and treasure trove of proprietary shopping data and positioned Ibotta as a digital couponing expert.

Our key strategies evolved in 2019 when Ibotta launched its most exciting product yet, the payments platform, Pay with Ibotta. The new platform enables shoppers to pay for their entire purchase at participating retailers through the Ibotta app and instantly earn cash back. But it was a risky move given the notable resistance among consumers to adopt mobile payments, and the shared skepticism amongst press.

With the launch of Pay with Ibotta, Barokas began building a name for Ibotta as a fintech and payments solution to media, partners and its own Savers. Prior to launch, we provided advance aircover for the news with embargoed outreach to target fintech, payments, mobile and business press. As a result of our efforts, Ibotta established new relationships with fintech and business reporters and publications unfamiliar with Ibotta outside of its mobile rebates and grocery history. Barokas secured six press interviews and 10 pieces of coverage on the launch of Pay with Ibotta including Forbes, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Chain Store Age, Payment Week and Denver Business Journal.

In the months since the launch, Barokas has seen continued success and interest in Pay with Ibotta through analyst relations, rapid response outreach around relevant mobile and fintech trends and topics and hijacking competitor and industry news. As a result of this particular strategy, Ibotta CEO Bryan Leach appeared on live television three times, once with Yahoo Finance’s Midday Movers and twice with Cheddar discussing his thoughts on Facebook’s Libra and related Ibotta news.

Following the launch, Barokas worked with Ibotta to announce the company’s Series D financing. The additional capital officially made Ibotta one of the only tech unicorns in the state of Colorado, valued at $1 billion. With only a few days to pitch press on the company’s biggest funding round to date, Barokas secured 20 unique pieces of coverage with more than 26 million potential impressions, including The Wall Street Journal, Axios, Fortune, Crunchbase News, and Venture Beat.

We are continuing to establish Ibotta as the definitive expert in mobile payments through thoughtfully designed media relations and thought leadership programs, executed with an always-on approach to proactive press outreach.

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