|Key people||Chuck Davis, Josef Gorowitz, Scott Dudelson, Eron Zehavi|
|Revenue||$54 million (2013)|
|Alexa rank||640 (October 2014[update])|
|Type of site||Rewards, Loyalty Program|
|Registration||Required, services free|
|Launched||February 25, 2008 (6 Years)|
Swagbucks.com is an El Segundo, California-based online rewards destination by Prodege LLC. It enables users to earn a virtual currency called Swag Bucks by performing a variety of online activities, including searching, shopping, taking surveys, playing games, and discovering online content, and then to redeem those Swag Bucks for retail gift cards, PayPal cash, or other rewards. As of October 2014, Swagbucks.com is ranked by Alexa Internet as the 186th most visited website in the United States and the 640th most trafficked website globally. As of March 2015, the site serves more than 12 million members and has awarded more than $89 million in retail gift card rewards to its members. The site operates in the U.S., Canada, UK, and Australia.
Swagbucks' website is owned and operated by Prodege, a provider of digital services, including an online rewards portal (Swagbucks), content distribution platforms (Yowgo, nCrave), and an online polling technology platform (SodaHead).
In 2006, Prodege introduced its first product: private label search engines that allowed charities to raise funds by having supporters perform internet searches. In early 2007, Prodege developed a second search loyalty product that allowed celebrities, brands and sports teams to engage fans through their own branded rewards program offering "swag" merchandise. Musicians including Kanye West and Kiss, and sports properties like WWE and the Indianapolis Colts were among the users of the platform. In February 2008, Prodege launched its current business, Swagbucks.com - under Co-Founders Josef Gorowitz and Scott Dudelson - and introduced the Swag Buck as a digital currency earned for activity throughout its network of websites.
In January 2013, Prodege Founder Josef Gorowitz appointed former Shopzilla and Fandango CEO Chuck Davis as the company's executive chairman. Davis led the 2005 sale of Shopzilla to E.W. Scripps for $569 million, and the 2007 sale of Fandango to Comcast Corp. for an undisclosed amount.
In May 2014, Prodege announced that Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) had invested $60 million into Prodege, parent company of Swagbucks and other portfolio brands, and that Prodege also had appointed Executive Chairman Chuck Davis as its new CEO and Chairman, while Josef Gorowitz assumed the title of Founder and President. This was the company’s first external investment. Prior to the TCV investment, Prodege had been fully bootstrapped and had grown to $53 million in profitable revenue in 2013.
In July 2014, Prodege announced its acquisition of SodaHead, Inc. (www.sodahead.com), an online polling technology platform founded by Jason Feffer. SodaHead.com CEO Chris Dominguez and Founder Jason Feffer joined Prodege’s executive leadership team in the move. SodaHead operates a consumer website and provides polling technology to media partners including ESPN, FOX News, and Good Morning America.
Members of the Swagbucks program are able to earn and redeem Swag Bucks in a variety of ways through the SwagBucks website and mobile apps.
While a single Swag Buck is generally worth 1 US cent (¢), the value may be greater when used for certain rewards.
- Searching- Swagbucks hosts a custom search engine that will periodically reward registered users with random amounts of Swag Bucks. The selection of winners is completely random, and it is emphasized that searching more often will not necessarily increase the odds of winning.
- Special Offers- Members may earn Swag Bucks by completing various offers made by third-party companies via the SwagBucks website or mobile app.
- Swagbucks TV- Members can discover and watch videos selected by the user, in a similar fashion to YouTube.
- Surveys- Members may complete market-research surveys from third parties to receive Swag Bucks. Generally, surveys take longer to complete than other activities, and consequently the payouts are larger on average.
- Shopping- Members may use the Shop and Earn feature to shop at a number of popular online e-commerce retailers (Walmart, Target, Apple, Kmart, etc.) and receive a set amount of Swag Bucks per dollar spent, in a “cash-back” format.
- Games- Members may play online casual games to earn Swag Bucks.
- Swag Codes- Special text codes can be periodically found on the Swag Bucks network and can be entered into a special Swag Codes box in the menu bar to earn Swag Bucks. These can appear and expire anytime.
- Referral Program- A current user can invite another person to use Swagbucks. If the other person signs up as a new Swagbucks user using the current user’s referral link, the current user will earn a referral fee equal to a percentage of the Swag Bucks earned over time by the new user.
- Daily Goals- A meter on the home page shows an amount of Swag Bucks that is the user's goal for that day. If the goal is reached, bonus Swag Bucks will be awarded at the start of the next month. These bonuses accumulate, and meeting the goal for many days in a row will earn additional bonuses.
- Hourly Random Winner- Users that are logged in to the site can check the SwagBucks blog every hour. If their username and avatar is displayed in the "Hourly Winner" section, the user can click "Claim Your Swagbucks" and may earn 1,000 Swag Bucks. The hourly random winner is now seen in the blog.
- Rewards Store- Users can redeem their Swag Bucks for a variety of popular retailer gift cards that are delivered in an electronic format, as well as PayPal cash and other redemption options. The site’s most popular rewards include retail gift cards from dozens of top Internet retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, Target and others.
- Swagstakes- Sweepstakes that require the user to pay for entries in Swag Bucks. Depending on the usual price of the item being offered, the entry amounts change. Some of the rewards are Swag Buck giveaways, which, if won, credit the user's account with more Swag Bucks.
Mobile site and applications
A mobile version of the SwagBucks site is available for use on smartphones like iPhone and Android devices. It is a stripped-down version of the regular site that contains fewer features, but is optimized for use via touchscreen.
- Searching: Just like the regular site, users can search using the mobile site and periodically earn Swag Bucks.
- Special Offers: A mobile version of the special offers on the regular SwagBucks site.
- Daily Poll: Also available on the regular site, a new poll is posted each day, and answering it rewards 1 Swag Buck.
- A selection of popular gift cards for major retailers are available on mobile, including Amazon, Walmart, Target and others.
Swagbucks mobile apps for iOS and Android
Swagbucks has released mobile apps on both Google Play and the App Store that allow the user to check their Swag Bucks balances, perform mobile searches, answer the daily poll, complete special offers, and redeem Swag Bucks for a selection of popular gift cards for major retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, Target and others. These apps are currently only available in the U.S.
Swagbucks has also released separate mobile apps on both Google Play and the Apple App Store for the SwagBucks TV feature. These apps are currently only available in the U.S.
Awards and Accolades
|2014||Josef Gorowitz, Founder of Prodege / Swagbucks||Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Los Angeles, Advertising Category||Won|
|2014||Brad Kates, CFO of Prodege / Swagbucks||Los Angeles Business Journal: CFO of the Year||Won|
|2014||Shane O'Neill, CTO of Prodege / Swagbucks||Los Angeles Business Journal: CIO of the Year||Nominated|
|2011-2014||Prodege / Swagbucks, #28 for 2014||Los Angeles Business Journal, Best Places to Work Awards||Won|
|2011-2014||Prodege / Swagbucks, #41 for 2014||Los Angeles Business Journal Fast Growing Private Companies||Won|
|2013-2014||Prodege / Swagbucks, #96 for 2014||Deloitte Fast 500 Fastest Growing Private Companies||Won|
|2011 - 2014||Prodege / Swagbucks, #1,245 for 2014||Inc. 5000||Won|
- "swagbucks.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-10-28.
- SwagBucks.com Site Info
- Searching for swag: Music to fans' ears | News Blogs - CNET News
- Raise Funds by Searching the Internet: Prodege
- Interview with Scott Dudelson, SwagBucks | socalTECH.com
- Billboard Bits: Dr. John, Kanye West | Billboard.com
- Online Movie Tickets a Still-Evolving Force | NY Times
- Comcast Agrees to Buy Fandango, Online Ticket Seller | Bloomberg
- Swagbucks raises $60 million; former Fandango chief named CEO | LA Times
- Cash For Internet: How And Why One Site Pays For Clicks | Forbes
- Swagbucks acquires SodaHead and now they’ll be key players in web polling | Upstart Business Journals