Civic News

Propel adds coupons from Quotient to make food stamps go further

Bottom line: it will be easier for more people to buy more food for their families.

Propel founder Jimmy Chen talks about how modern software can be used for social good.

(Image via YouTube)

In a significant push to stretch EBT dollars, Brooklyn startup Propel partnered with coupon giant Quotient this week, allowing users of Propel’s app, FreshEBT, access to digital coupons that can be used at checkout.

The move will mean less expensive food costs for users and higher revenue for Propel, said founder Jimmy Chen in a call with Wednesday morning.

“We think it’s a way of building our company and revenue as well as providing a useful feature for our user base,” Chen explained. “One of the things we’ve been trying to do over the last two years is helping our customers save money on food. We’ve partnered with local grocers for savings, but this partnership is by far the largest one. Quotient’s platform is national.”

Propel, which we ranked as the No. 8 startup in Brooklyn this year and which won our Brooklyn award for Civic Startup of the Year in 2016, also told us that it hit a milestone of 1 million active users this week.

The company’s app, FreshEBT, allows users to check the balance of their monthly food stamp allocation, a function which had been hard to do priorly. Now when users check the app they will also be shown coupons redeemable in the grocery stores they’re shopping in, through Quotient, which was formerly known as and is publicly traded on the NASDAQ.

Chen would not elaborate on how the partnership would generate revenue for Propel, when asked if it was a sort of affiliate marketing deal, but he said Quotient has many deals with companies that publish their coupons and Propel would be one of those companies. Chen said he expects it will be a big revenue driver for the company in the year that comes.


Chen said he hopes the addition of the coupons can be a big help to his customers.

“A family that receives EBT benefits gets about $250 for food,” he explained. “For a lot of our users, that’s not enough. We hear that in the last week to two weeks of the month, our users are going to food pantries or borrowing food from neighbors or skipping meals.”

The partnership caps off a tremendous year for Propel. The company raised $4 million this summer and recently grew out of Dumbo’s Blue Ridge Labs, where it had been for the first three years of existence and into a Greendesk coworking space in Fort Greene that can house its now nine-member staff.

Companies: Propel
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