Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

From our days clipping coupons out of the newspaper to doing a search for a coupon code online, consumers are all about finding benefits and perks when shopping.

Kudos is one of those companies helping us do that. It has created an AI-powered smart wallet that recommends the right credit card to maximize rewards and cash back when making purchases. 

Kudos uses artificial intelligence to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively, Tikue Anazodo, co-founder and CEO of Kudos, told TechCrunch.

Consumers can use Kudos via an app and browser extension, similar to Honey. There are startups like Kard, Power, Bilt Rewards and MaxRewards developing in this space, too.

“Many of our members say that using Kudos is like having Apple Pay, Honey and Credit Karma all in one app,” Anazodo said via email. “However, we automatically optimize payments, find personalized merchant offers and provide smart financial recommendations, all powered by advanced AI.”

Kudos, shopping, credit card
The Kudos team (image credit: Kudos)
Image Credits: Kudos /

Anazodo started Kudos with Ahmad Ismail after working together at Google and Affirm. They later exhibited as part of the Battlefield 200 at TC Disrupt in 2022.

TechCrunch profiled the company in 2022 when it raised $7 million in seed funding from investors including Patron, QED Investors, SciFi VC and SV Angel. At the time, Kudos was in beta mode with 36% month-over-month in user growth and 90% retention.

Since 2022, Kudos grew from 1,000 beta testers to 200,000 registered users and increased annualized checkout gross merchandise volume to over $200 million, Anazodo said. 

It also has some new features, including MariaGPT, an AI-powered card discovery tool indexing and recommending over 3,000 cards in its database; Dream Wallet, which provides personalized card recommendations based on a user’s spending habits; and Kudos Boost, which delivers personalized cashback rewards on top of existing credit card rewards across over 15,000 partner brands and retailers.

Anazodo declined to get specific about revenue growth other than to say “we are still in the early stages of revenue generation.”

Kudos, shopping, credit card
Kudos’ autofill popup showing the best credit card to use for that purchase. (Image credit: Kudos)
Image Credits: Kudos /

All of that growth led investors to put additional funds into the company. QED Investors is back to lead $10.2 million in Series A for Kudos. Joining in are Patron, The Points Guy founder Brian Kelly, Samsung Next, SV Angel, Precursor Ventures, The Mini Fund, Newtype Ventures and the Four Cities Fund. This new investment gives Kudos $17.2 million in total venture-backed funding raised to date.

Anazodo declined to give specific valuational numbers, but did say the new valuation is more than double its seed valuation.

The company intends to maintain a lean team. There are 14 employees today versus 11 in 2022. It will deploy funding into new AI-powered services for its smart wallet product and expand MariaGPT into a general-purpose personal finance assistant and a portal allowing members to book flights with points so that consumers don’t have to leave Kudos, Anazodo said. 

As part of the investment, Amias Gerety, a partner at QED Investors, joins Kudos’ board of directors. 

“We chose QED Investors to lead the round because of their deep expertise in fintech and their strong belief in our vision for Kudos,” Anazodo said. “Their strategic insights, extensive network, and proven track record in scaling successful fintech companies, such as leading Credit Karma’s Series A, made them the ideal partner to help us navigate this next phase of growth.”

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