[June 25, 2015] – PromisePay ( now Assembly ), the full stack payments platform that helps marketplaces, merchants, and their customers transact simply and securely online, today announced it has raised USD$2M in funding from major fintech and startup investors including US venture capital firm Cultivation Capital; Mark Harbottle, co-founder of 99designs; Australian tech VC fund rampersand, and Reinventure, the Westpac backed VC fund.
The PromisePay platform gives marketplace operators a fully managed payments solution over and above simple payment processing, including escrow, fraud management, end user support, and dispute resolution. Customers across Australia and the US have reported a majority of transactions moving from legacy payments systems, including PayPal and Braintree over to PromisePay, driven by simplicity and security.
As a result of the investment, the company will further expand its existing Melbourne and San Francisco offices with the establishment of a St Louis office to support its rapidly growing customer base in the US. The company expects to double head count while growing revenue more than 10x in the coming year.
Marketplaces are moving away from having large specialist payment and customer service teams, instead opting to engage full stack solutions, such as PromisePay, which reduces cost, operations complexity, and compliance risk.
PromisePay co-founder & CEO, Simon Lee, commented: “Marketplaces are complex enough to operate without the complex labyrinth that is payments. Companies are realizing that taking the actual payment is easy, but that’s just the tip of the ice berg, and they don’t want to have big teams that aren’t adding value to their core business of connecting buyers and sellers. As the only full payments solution specifically built for marketplaces, we’re delighted to have some of the largest and most experienced investors in Australia and the US behind us to help take advantage of this huge opportunity.”
“There are thousands of marketplaces where buyers and sellers don’t know or trust each other, and thousands of merchants with cash flow problems, so PromisePay products are critical to ensure all parties can transact easily, be protected, with as little effort and headaches as possible,” Lee said.
As part of the round, Cultivation Capital General Partner Tim Stern and rampersand Co-Founder Paul Naphtali will join the PromisePay board. Mark Harbottle and Reinventure will join as Board Observers.
“When I first came across PromisePay, we were looking to add escrow to the Flippa marketplace to support large transactions volumes. Flippa became an early customer of PromisePay, so I got to know the team and product intimately. I love investing in great teams with great products that solve problems that we have in our own businesses, so when the opportunity to get more involved in PromisePay came up, it definitely ticked all the boxes for me.” said Harbottle.
Cultivation Capital General Partner Tim Stern said “We had a great experience getting to know PromisePay through the SixThirty program, and have been impressed by their continued traction in the market. As the most complete solution for marketplaces, and a rapidly growing footprint across the US and Australia, PromisePay has a disruptive offering and an exciting future.”
Simon Cant of Reinventure added: “We think there is a significant opportunity to take the complexity and risk out of escrow payments for marketplaces by providing a clean user experience and rapid and low cost on boarding for merchants.”
Rampersand cofounder Paul Naphtali said “In a short period of time PromisePay has demonstrated the voracious appetite from marketplace operators to find a solution that enhances their operating efficiency and customer experience while reducing risk. rampersand is excited to back this strong team and help them cement a leadership position in the payments market.”
PromisePay uses bank level security and encryption to protect the financial information of both parties involved in the transaction and offers the following marketplace focused products:
Escrow (Patent Pending)
On a marketplace, buyers and sellers can carry out escrow transactions between each other simply, securely, and compliantly through multiple payment types. On behalf of marketplaces, PromisePay collects, holds, and releases the funds under customer managed instructions.
On a marketplace, buyers and sellers can carry out instant transactions between each other simply, securely, compliantly, and using multiple payment types. On behalf of marketplaces, PromisePay ensures these transactions are seamless for customers.
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PromisePay exists to provide online marketplaces and merchants with the tools to exceed their growth potential, while helping their customers safely buy and sell the things they love, want and need. PromisePay’s mission is to build the internet’s most powerful payments engine, game-change the payments industry, and reinvent e-commerce across the planet. For more information, visit www.promisepay.com
About Cultivation Capital
Cultivation Capital is a St. Louis-based early stage Venture Capital firm investing in high potential technology companies throughout the Midwest. Cultivation Capital is managed by a team of experienced entrepreneurs, who have started more than 25 companies, raised more than USD$200 Million dollars and had several successful exits. For more information, visit www.cultivationcapital.com
About Mark Harbottle
Mark Harbottle co-founded 99designs.com, the largest graphic design marketplace in the world. In 2011 Accel Partners (investors in Facebook, Dropbox, Groupon and other leading tech businesses) invested USD$35m Series A in 99designs. Mark also co-founded Flippa, the largest marketplace in the world for buying and selling websites, and SitePoint, a leading educator of Web Designers and Developers.
An Australian growth-stage fund, rampersand invests in and supports the best Australian technology founders and teams and is committed to helping startups become major national, regional and global leaders. Growth-stage technology businesses need more than just money to succeed, so rampersand provides support with sales and marketing, communication, exposure to global networks and more. Rampersand have worked with successful startups and technology firms in Australia, Silicon Valley, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.rampersand.com
Reinventure is a AUD$50 million venture capital fund whose largest investor is the Westpac Banking Corporation, one of Australia’s largest banking and financial services companies. Reinventure’s approach is to bring great entrepreneurs together in a partnership with Westpac. As a result Reinventure aims to help ventures to scale more rapidly than they could do on their own. Reinventure makes investments from seed through to Series A and up. Co-founded and managed independently by Danny Gilligan and Simon Cant who are also co-investors in the fund, Reinventure’s model ensures that its primary objective is to invest in and develop the most successful ventures in their respective markets. For more information, visit www.reinventure.com.au