by Alex Palmer | August 30, 2017
Blackhawk Network today announced its acquisition of gift card commerce solution provider CashStar. The acquisition expands the financial tech company's already substantial footprint in the incentive gift card market, particularly in the mobile and digital sector. 

With the $175 million deal, Blackhawk expands further into the corporate incentive and third-party markets, while boosting its offerings and deepens relationships with merchants. Blackhawk also expects the acquisition will provide retailers and distributors with more powerful options in fast-growing mobile and digital distribution.

"This acquisition significantly expands Blackhawk's offerings and helps enhance its merchant relationships, while also complementing Blackhawk's leadership in the third party and incentives businesses," Talbott Roche, CEO and president of Blackhawk Network told Incentive. "Specifically, the acquisition provides us with the ability to enhance the consumer experience in incentives through e-gift delivery and redemption."

The acquisition also provides Blackhawk with CashStar's commerce platform that allows retailers to market, sell, and distribute their digital and physical gift cards directly to consumers and businesses across a range of channels. The platform allows merchants to use digital and physical gift cards to engage consumers throughout the customer lifecycle, including marketing and promotions, sales, and customer service. 

"Joining forces with Blackhawk will help us deliver even more powerful capabilities and new revenue opportunities for our clients and partners," said Ben Kaplan, CEO and president of CashStar, in a statement. "Together, we can provide merchants with unified end-to-end solutions for B2B and B2C gift card distribution. The combination of our platform and Blackhawk's product breadth and global reach creates innovative new applications for branded value and mobile payments. We couldn't be more excited."
CashStar now becomes part of Blackhawk's digital and incentives businesses and Kaplan will continue to oversee it, reporting directly to David Jones, Blackhawk's general manager of digital and incentives.