Bilt Rewards valued at $3.1 billion after General Catalyst-led fundraise

(Reuters) – Loyalty program Bilt Rewards said on Wednesday it had more than doubled its valuation to $3.1 billion after its latest funding round led by venture capital firm General Catalyst.

Launched in April 2022, Bilt allows customers to earn rewards on rent payments, which then can be redeemed for travel bookings, shopping and other activities.

Besides General Catalyst, billionaire Todd Boehly’s Eldridge and existing investors Left Lane Capital, Camber Creek and Prosus Ventures participated in the round, which fetched $200 million for Bilt.

The New York-based company will use the proceeds to expand its rewards program to include single-family, multifamily and student housing sectors. It is also considering including mortgage payments under its program.

Bilt said it has appointed former American Express CEO Ken Chenault as its board chair. Chenault is currently the chair and managing director at General Catalyst.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is also joining Bilt’s board.

After the company’s previous funding round in Oct. 2022, it was valued at $1.5 billion.

The funding marks a rare bright spot for the startup investment market in the United States, which has seen subdued activity despite the frenzy around artificial intelligence.

Elevated interest rates and economic uncertainty prevented venture capital firms from signing big checks for startups last year.

In 2023, U.S. investors injected $170.6 billion into startups, 30% lower than in 2022, according to PitchBook data.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)