Gumtree signs PromisePay to take on Airtasker with new tradie-matching service

Darren McMurtrie, Simon Lee and Simon Jones in new Assembly Payments T shirts. (Source: supplied)

Australian fintech startup PromisePay has won a landmark deal with eBay-owned website Gumtree, while also announcing a name change to Assembly Payments.

Gumtree Connect is a service launched today that connects homeowners to tradespeople. The platform, which allows users to “receive quotes, schedule and manage appointments and make payments”, pivots Gumtree away from a classifieds site to an on-demand labour matching service.

And to facilitate this new functionality, Gumtree has commissioned Assembly Payments to provide the payment platform after “a lengthy global search”.

“Their expertise in areas such as fraud, chargebacks, compliance, escrow and customer support has meant they are a great fit for Gumtree,” said Gumtree head of verticals Andre Hugo.

“What we wanted to do is to make the process of connecting, communicating and paying for services much easier for the consumer, while simultaneously making it much easier for service providers to generate leads, perform the work and get paid.”

The Gumtree Connect will start initially in South Africa, where Gumtree is a dominant brand with six million active users each month.

Assembly Payments co-founder and chief executive Simon Lee said getting a foot in the door within eBay meant that the former PromisePay had now arrived “on the global stage”.

“For them to look over the world and choose Assembly is hugely gratifying. Giving Gumtree the ability to provide safe and secure transactions on mobile and online gives them a massive advantage over competing marketplaces in the home services space,” he said.

Lee told Business Insider that the choice to abandon the PromisePay name, which had built up significant brand recognition in the past couple of years, wasn’t “done lightly”.

“Changing your identity isn’t done lightly,” said Lee, “but PromisePay, a name which was born when we started as an online payments and escrow startup, no longer reflects who we are as a team, or as a platform.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to our technology and would consistently hear that PromisePay is being used to assemble payment flows in whole new ways.

“Whether it was driven by compliance, fraud management or just the fact that we handled the entire payments piece end to end, that word assemble kept coming up.”

Assembly Payments already has big-name clients like carsales.com.au, hipages, Flippa and, ironically, the most direct competitor to Gumtree Connect – Airtasker. The startup claims a total customer base of more than 100 platforms across Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

Since starting in 2014, Assembly claims it has tripled its staff numbers, doubled subscriptions every quarter and grown its revenue 25% month-on-month in the past year. As PromisePay, the startup completed one of the biggest funding rounds in Australia last year, clinching $14 million in June.

The capital raise was lead by Australian tech venture capital firm Rampersand, Westpac-backed Reinventure, US fintech fund Cultivation Capital, 99Designs co-founder Mark Harbottle and former Hitwise chief Andrew Walsh, as well as Carsales.com.au Limited.

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