Rewards-based Shopping Portal Launched

Menlo Park, CA-based ad-backed incentive marketer ebates.com launched an online shopping portal that connects consumers with online merchants and then gives them cash rebates of up to 25 percent on their purchases.

Through ebates.com, shoppers receive rebates on purchases from merchants such as Amazon.com, CDnow, Reel.com, Dell Computer, Beyond.com and eToys, among others.

ebates.com said it takes advantage of e-commerce affiliate programs to earn cash rebates, which are sent to consumers on a quarterly basis. Because ebates.com is supported by advertising and sponsorships, “every cent of every rebate is passed through to members,” the company said.

ebates.com was founded by Internet entrepreneurs Paul Wasserman and Alessandro Isolani, along with co-founder John Nirenstein — a veteran of five Silicon Valley start-ups.

The company generates revenue through the sale of ads that are displayed in a small window at the top of ebates.com pages. The company collects demographic information to better target its ads.

“We’re literally paying people to shop,” said Wasserman, president and chief operating officer. “For our members, ebates.com is like the DiscoverCard of the Web. . . .Our advertisers gain access to Internet shoppers with credit cards at the ready, and our participating merchants can lower their customer acquisition costs substantially.”

To earn rebates, shoppers must access participating merchants through ebates.com and use their ebates.com email address when making purchases. The site was developed in conjunction with Roundpeg and designed by Think New Ideas, both of San Francisco. ebates.com received venture capital funding from Foundation Capital.

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