Fintech tikpay pockets $1.6 million pre-Seed round to transform transport ticketing

- September 19, 2023 2 MIN READ
Tikpay's Simon O’Connor, Belinda Ralston and founder Michael Walters
Melbourne fintech tikpay has raised $1.6 million in a pre-Seed round ahead of the launch of its pioneering account-based ticketing (ABT) and payments platform.

The round was led by AfterWork Ventures and Black Nova VC with participation from Investible, Func Ventures, Metagrove Ventures, and two transport industry insiders.

While Sydney commuters have been able to catch a bus, train or ferry using their credit card for the last few years, Melburnians know well the frustration of having to find a somewhere to top up their Myki card before they can jump on public transport. tikpay’s solution hopes to fix that for everyone and offering ease of use for both operators and commuters.

Tikpay founder and CEO Michael Walters, a 30-year veteran of the industry, said legacy ticketing systems are not only weighed down by outdated technology, proprietary hardware, and limited payment options, they’re complex, inflexible and rarely interoperable.

“Transport ticketing is ancient – full of friction and old technology that discourages travellers and hinders the ability of operators to do much about it,” he said.

“Tikpay started with a clean sheet of paper, designing a ticketing and payments platform that will improve the experience for travellers and operators alike. Our solution empowers travellers to seamlessly navigate various transport modes and networks, removing friction and making transport simple.”

His startup’s cloud-based ABT system receives and manages information about customers and their travel in a back-office account rather than on a physical card.

That gives travellers the flexibility to use multiple fare media (eg. credit/debit cards, digital wallets, QR codes and more) when tapping on and off,  as well as the ability to set up multiple funding sources, join family, employer and other groups, register for concessions, store multiple ticketing products, and view their travel history across a wide range of transport modes, all on the one system.

For operators, it has the potential to nearly halve capital costs, and offer a single view of all ticketing and payment activity, as well as create new product types, and gain deeper traveller insights.

Investible principle Jayden Basha said the founding team, which includes chief product officer Belinda Ralston and veteran engineer Simon O’Connor as CTO, blends deep sector experience with robust commercial and product acumen to make “a diamond in the rough” of early stage startups.

“Michael, Belinda, and the growing team behind tikpay are poised to capture this compelling, underserved market in Australia and beyond,” he said.

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