Cardlytics, the pioneer in using anonymized bank and transaction data for ad targeting, generated $113m in revenue in 2016 and $91m through the first nine months of 2017. The S-1 filing revealed that a single customer, Bank of America, represented approximately half of the company's MAUs - a metric that is sure to receive scrutiny from public equity investors.
In 2016, Cardlytics laid off about 15 percent of its workforce — or about 50 jobs — as part of a restructuring. Cardlytics’ customized ads are based on transaction information gleaned from consumers’ bank-card use, such as where they shopped in the past month and how much they spent. The transaction data is scrubbed of personal information, so merchants can’t identify individual shoppers. Clicking on an ad turns the consumer’s bank card into a virtual coupon, usable online or in a brick-and-mortar store. When the customer makes a purchase, the advertised savings are automatically credited to their bank account or rewards program.