Fobi to acquire Qples for $3.2 million USD to expand retail opportunities

In a black background, there's white text that reads "fobi" in all lowercase letters.

Vancouver-based SaaS startup Fobi AI is set to acquire Qples for $3.2 million USD to enter the coupon industry.

Founded in 2011, Qples is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas and provides a platform for digital coupons. Businesses are able to build universal digital coupons, target its audience and track the coupon’s insights in Qples all-in-one application.

Through the Grocery Coupon Network app, customers can browse for universal digital coupons and redeem them through their phone. The app also allows users to combine all of their coupons into one barcode and redeem them all in one scan.

Fobi will be taking full control of Qples’ digital platform in anticipation of Fobi’s next stage of significantly larger business developments.

A universal digital coupon can be redeemed by scanning the barcode from a user’s phone at an in-person register. With this system, it could reduce time lining up for the cash register and maintain contactless shopping.

Fobi was founded in 2018 and is publicly traded at the TSX Venture Exchange and OTC Markets Group. The startup offers real-time data analytics powered by artificial intelligence that businesses can leverage to convert them into actionable insights.

According to the startup, the acquisition will see the incorporation of Qples’ team into Fobi, and the latter will be taking full control of the digital coupon platform “in anticipation of Fobi’s next stage of significantly larger business developments.”

The acquisition will also provide a channel for Fobi to tap into the consumer packaged goods industry, one of its strategies to accelerate its lead in retail sectors such as grocery and convenience stores.

RELATED: Goodfood reaches record revenue of $100.7 million as online grocery market booms

Qples coupon platform will be integrated with Fobi’s wallet pass platform—Passcreator—where users can directly engage customers by means of sending push notifications to mobile devices; build dynamic loyalty cards, event tickets, coupons, and membership cards; and integrate wallet passes into Apple and Android’s operating systems.

Fobi had also recently appointed NielsenIQ’s former vice president of strategic alliances, Richard Lee, to be the new senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at Fobi in June.

The company claims that Lee’s background at NielsenIQ is key for executing on Fobi’s retail strategy focused on grocery, convenience and pharmacy.

Lee explained that the acquisition is in line with Fobi’s acquisition strategy of purchasing companies that provide “complementary services and a scalable business model,” adding that Fobi plans to immediately expand Qples’ services to new markets.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and the business and technology editor at The Eyeopener, Ryerson's largest independent newspaper.