How This Entrepreneurial Couple Is Revolutionizing Model Loyalty


Entrepreneur Ventures is an early-stage enterprise capital agency partnered with Entrepreneur Media that’s devoted to backing passionate and modern founders as early as day one. On this collection, we’re profiling the superb entrepreneurs that Entrepreneur Ventures is working with to share their insights on constructing and rising a thriving enterprise.

Please inform us about yourselves and what you are promoting.

Amanda Huh: Our firm is known as Amaze. It is a white-labeled self-service platform that creates memberships for manufacturers. I am the co-founder and CMO, and my husband Stephen George is the co-founder and CEO. Our companion Keith Hoerling is the CTO. Merely put, our platform permits manufacturers to create digital membership playing cards that dwell in members’ Apple and Google Pockets and permits them to provide nice perks, construct their neighborhood, and seize highly effective information. We’re a super-lightweight software and we create a frictionless expertise for our clients and their members.

What impressed the enterprise?

Amanda Huh: Throughout the pandemic, we observed plenty of companies shutting down. Stephen has a robust background within the buyer loyalty area, and we wished to construct one thing that companies might actually depend on to create sustainable income and join with their shoppers in a extra significant method.

Stephen George: I used to be at Groupon so I have been on this loyalty and reward area for a very long time. We began constructing our platform in 2023 and pushed it dwell to our first clients in December. We began by speaking to smaller companies in meals, beverage, well being, wellness and trend. However much like Groupon, each enterprise on the planet can profit from utilizing our platform. This is not only a rewards card the place clients are gathering stars or factors. These loyalty packages are passive — half of the time you do not even keep in mind you are enrolled — and so they’re purely transactional. When a enterprise has a membership, it creates a way of belonging and neighborhood.

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How does it work?

Stephen George: Most of our clients have a digital card that sits in a member’s Apple or Google Pockets. We selected to benefit from these wallets’ present infrastructure and traction — they’ve two and a half billion customers — fairly than constructing a brand-new app. We even have a few clients who’ve determined to have a bodily card printed on metallic with a QR code on the again. Both method, the thought is that this card is one thing that folks will showcase, type of as a humble brag. It may be to your favourite sports activities crew, a non-profit you help, a cool barbershop, a high-end nightclub or a restaurant. The cardboard provides you a way of belonging and in addition permits companies to supply entry to issues {that a} member truly desires. For instance, we’ve got a restaurant group that wished to provide its traders to really feel like they’re part of one thing. In order that they gave them every an investor card that offers them precedence reservations and a free bottle of wine as soon as a month. Now, a high-end restaurant can take this idea and monetize it by having a VIP pay a thousand {dollars} a month for a membership card that gives them $500 in beverage credit score or another nice perks.

What’s what you are promoting background?

Amanda Huh: My household is within the seafood trade. Our firm is known as Pacific American Fish Firm and we’re one of many largest import-export manufacturing and distribution firms in the USA. I constructed out our DTC line after which my brother and I began a household workplace targeted on know-how investments. So I got here from the investor aspect and now I’ve received the founder hat on. So it is a very distinctive expertise type of coming from each side.

Stephen George: I began at Groupon as an intern. There have been simply 4 engineers on the firm on the time and it was previous to when it was referred to as Groupon. I stayed with them till the IPO. It was an amazing studying expertise for me, clearly being simply 20 years outdated and changing into Head of International Operations in three years. I went on to put money into startups and have constructed just a few firms over the previous decade. I made my method out to LA from Chicago, which is the place I met Amanda. We now have two youngsters and run our enterprise from our house within the city that Amanda grew up in.

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How did your expertise as traders assist your fundraising course of?

Amanda Huh: It is a large assist as a result of I perceive what traders are actually searching for. After I was an investor, it actually got here all the way down to how I related with the founders as individuals. On the core, you might be investing in anyone who’s going to do the proper factor. So on the founder’s aspect, you need to talk to traders that you are a compassionate individual, that you just’re solution-oriented and that you’ve the tenacity to make this idea come to fruition.

Stephen George: Amanda and I come from completely different enterprise backgrounds. Her household enterprise had been worthwhile I feel for 40-plus years. They’ve by no means taken outdoors cash. No debt. Nothing. I come from Groupon the place we raised a billion {dollars} and relied on that outdoors funding. It was development in any respect prices. So with Amaze, we attempt to stability that. We introduced in just a few clients who wished to place some small checks in over the course of constructing the product, however actually did not take a lot funding. Now that we’ve got a product, we’ve got clients signing up, and a transparent go to market technique, we’re elevating cash. And I feel that offers us a bonus not having an enormous burn pre-revenue and pre-product.

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Any recommendation for these searching for funding?

Stephen George: For early-stage founders, the extra you may show that it is a viable enterprise earlier than you’re taking funding will put you in a greater place. I feel that taking some cash is ok, however be certain to not let fundraising take over your consideration. Permitting your self to give attention to the enterprise is basically necessary. Put your vitality into the issue you are fixing and constructing the proper answer.

What does it imply to you to be an entrepreneur?

Amanda Huh: For me being an entrepreneur is tied to my dad and mom’ immigrant story. They came to visit from South Korea again 1969, and constructed their enterprise. So it’s actually about being a self-starter and making a legacy for our children and constructing one thing that’s helpful to our neighborhood. And that is what Amaze is centered on: we’re giving companies the ability to construct higher relationships with their clients.

Stephen George: If you speak about success as a founder, we outline that as having clients from 12 months one who’re nonetheless going to have the ability to actually profit from our platform in 12 months 10. And my large recommendation to entrepreneurs studying that is to be affected person. It doesn’t matter what you might be doing, it’s all the time going to take longer than anticipated. And whilst you might have to pivot, change course or regroup, you simply cannot quit.

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