St. Paul-based Augeo has acquired the loyalty and rewards business of Shoreview-based Deluxe Corp.

Augeo has been growing its loyalty and engagement business at double-digit rates since 2010, organically and through a handful of acquisitions.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated consumer purchasing trends and loyalty programs, with people placing a greater value on immediacy and value, said Augeo Chief Executive David Kristal.

"Consumer loyalty is being reinvented during COVID," Kristal said. "Augeo has a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of that reinvention. Through our platform today, the innovations that we have, how we deliver rewards and the acquisition of Deluxe Rewards [it] allows consumers to benefit immediately. It is very unique in that way."

The acquisition of Deluxe Rewards closed on Dec. 31 and was the second deal that Augeo completed in 2020. The company acquired a San Diego-based card-linking company, Empyr, in April, and Kristal said Augeo is eyeing one or two more deals for 2021.

"We believe that challenging times create unique opportunities for companies that are agile, innovative and well-grounded financially," said Kristal, who is on the board of the Star Tribune.

The deal for the Deluxe Rewards program adds a group with 60 employees mostly based in South Florida and millions of users on their platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A key feature of Deluxe Rewards is a patented dual-currency model that lets users pay for experiential rewards or items with a combination of points earned and cash. The system gives consumers more convenience and immediacy in a rewards program and companies who use the program "a great return on investment," Kristal said.

Rewards programs foster engagement, and the Deluxe Rewards programs will complement the programs Augeo provides for companies to foster engagement between consumers, members and employees.

Augeo is a private company that does not disclose financial information, but Kristal said the combination of organic growth and more acquisitions should put it on a path to report 2021 revenue of approximately $300 million.

Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926