Manchester-based Airtime Rewards has closed a £1m Seed round, with the majority (£750,00) coming from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

Airtime offer a loyalty reward system that provides discounts to your monthly phone bill if you shop with any of the brands that Airtime has partnered with.

Shoppers are given a unique reward currency that can be converted into monetary credit on their mobile phone account or for additional mobile data.

Airtime was founded by Adam Ward and Josh Graham in 2015. Ward commented: “Last year was a pivotal year for our business, we were able to prove there is a clear consumer and retailer demand for our technology, giving us a solid platform for growth.

“It has been great to find an investor in our home city of Manchester who shares our vision. We are looking forward to working with Maven to take our business to the next stage.”

Josh Graham added: “We’re delighted that investors have recognised both the existing strength and future potential of our company. Airtime benefits all parties by providing a simple and tangible way for customers to earn rewards for purchases, while enabling retailers and mobile phone operators to capitalize on increased customer spend and frequency of visit.”

Members need to link their bank cards to Airtime to start earning on their shopping. Brands that have partnered with Airtime include: Waitrose, Missguided, Groupon, Jack Wills & Byron. The company also has agreements in place with all of the UK’s major mobile network operators.

This latest investment will be used to expand the business and create 12 new jobs in the next year as well as developing the company’s sales and marketing functions.

James Darlington, investment manager at Maven, concluded: “We are delighted to support Airtime in realising its growth strategy. The company’s offering is exciting and innovative – allowing users to transact and redeem their rewards easily and in a way that best suits their lifestyles.

“Adam and Josh have worked tirelessly, achieving a great deal of success within a short timeframe and with minimal resources. They have positioned the business well and this investment will allow them to fast track the company’s performance. We look forward to working with them to drive the business over the next few years.”