News & Analysis

Melbourne payments startup PromisePay raises $14 million Series A round led by Carsales

- June 15, 2016 2 MIN READ

After hinting at a big capital raise last December, Melbourne payments startup PromisePay has raised $14 million in a Series A round led by Carsales, with participation from local VC firms Rampersand and Westpac’s Reinventure, 99Designs cofounder Mark Harbottle, and Cultivation Capital.

The startup, which raised $3 million across two rounds last year, offers a seamless transaction experience for its clients and their customers. Where it differs from other payment platforms however is its management of risk and fraud, which is significant given that creating user trust and validating user identities is one of the industry’s biggest issues. To solve this issue PromisePay has created a system that conducts background checks to enable identification and authentication of each customer and business owner.

PromisePay cofounder Simon Lee said in a statement, “There are thousands of platforms looking to create fast, simple and trusted payments between buyers and sellers that don’t know each other. It’s a great deal more complex than just a payment, it’s an entire experience, and our technology delivers that experience seamlessly for platforms all over the world, and with full protection to all parties.”

He told Startup Daily last year, “It’s quite unique because you may trust the marketplace or the platform – for example you trust Uber, AirBnB, CarSales and Airtasker, but you may not really know who’s coming to do the work for you.”

Darren McMurtrie, cofounder and chief experience officer, added, “There’s a fundamental shift in payments, everything is moving online; Uber is a good example of that. These types of platforms are a little more complicated than just taking a credit card for payment.”

The startup, based in Collingwood with offices in San Francisco, St Louis, and Manila, has 40 clients in Australia, including Airtasker and 99Designs, and more in the pipeline, with the company reporting that it grew its revenue 25 percent month on month in 2015, and was doubling the number of direct sign ups every quarter.

It signed on tradie marketplace hipages earlier this year, tasked with integrating a payment system into the hipages app to launch in-app payments and end the days of tradies waiting weeks to be paid for a job.

PromisePay can now add Carsales and its marketplaces to its client list, with Carsales founder and CEO Greg Roebuck saying in a statement, “We searched extensively for a provider that could bring trusted payments to our marketplaces, and PromisePay was uniquely able to do so. We immediately saw value not just for our own business but for countless other platforms. So not only will we be using PromisePay but we’re also delighted to be an investor in PromisePay.”

Image: Darren McMurtrie, Simon Lee and Simon Jones, Source: Supplied