PRODEGE/SWAGBUCKS.COM

Torrance

BUSINESS: Search portal that offers users rewards and discounts for online purchases.

FOUNDED: 2006

TWO-YEAR GROWTH RATE: 897%

2010 REVENUE: $12.3 million

CEO Josef Gorowitz: I had previously co-founded a honey export business out of Argentina and realized that while I was worrying about the movement of physical commodities from one location to another, companies like Google were making money simply on clicks.

Early Days: In 2005, we built the technology and forged the right partnerships to allow non-profit organizations to raise money via Internet search. We saw the opportunity to expand the business by bringing in brands and sports teams and leveraging their fan base to raise money for their favorite causes. In 2007, we expanded the concept to be based around the collection of a digital currency called the Swag Buck, and from there the company really took off.

Business Goals: Our goal is to become the most trusted digital currency on the web. In the three years since we launched Swagbucks.com, we’ve come a long way in achieving this goal. We see no reason why we cannot become the (American Express) of the web.

Biggest Challenge: Early on, the concept of raising money for charities via Internet search was a very new one, and even now, as our business has shifted, the concept of earning rewards for online activity is a new concept that requires an education process with the consumer.

Fresh Ideas: We will be expanding the Swag Buck offering and start allowing other brands to distribute Swag Bucks on their own websites.

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