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Troop ID raises funds, gears up for mobile apps

Troop ID, the start-up that helps companies verify military credentials for discount eligibility, recently raised $2.1 million from investors to beef up its marketing staff and “aggressively” build out its mobile applications, CEO and co-founder Blake Hall said late last week.

“There will be a major product launch sometime over the summer,” Hall said. “I can’t get into details, but a lot of people are excited about it.”

Troop ID currently is optimized for the web but does not yet have native apps for accessing its services.

More than 130,000 service members, veterans and their family members have registered with Troop ID since its launch in November of last year. The service uses hard-fought access to government databases to verify military credentials so that retailers can be assured only eligible customers get discounts intended to benefit service members and their families.

Hall said the start-up helped save its users “six figures” in the first 45 days with just one retailer. Brands like Under Armour and Tough Mudder currently use the verification product for its promotions.

It helps that Hall and his co-founder, Matt Thompson, both U.S. Army veterans, had developed street cred with companies that offer military deals through their Troop Swap website, which has been aggregating daily military deals for users since its spring 2011 inception.

Hall said that ability to promote new deals through the existing Troop Swap channels made participating with the new Troop ID product that much more appealing to brands.

“They’re complimentary products, “ he said. “I don’t think we’d have as much success if we didn’t also have the capability to shine a spotlight on those who were making a statement in support of military service.”

Now that they’ve worked out the understandably complex back-end components of the service, Hall said the company is working to expand to more online retailers — and open to new markets for the product.

“I think there’s a lot of opportunity with the infrastructure we’ve built,” Hall said.

Based in McLean, Va. with 21 employees, Troop ID will also have more of a D.C. presence as it maintains “a few seats” at the new 1776 center.

Read more articles by Whitney Pipkin.

Whitney Pipkin is a freelance journalist who covers food, agriculture, and the environment and lives in Alexandria, Va. She writes about food, etc. at thinkabouteat.com.
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