Westpac’s venture capital fund, Reinventure Group, joined a $2.6 million seed funding round for PromisePay — a payments platform for online marketplaces.
PromisePlay aims to eliminate distrust and disputes between buyers and sellers by providing marketplaces with a platform to manage the entire transaction from start to finish.
PromisePay co-founder and CEO Simon Lee said the platform gives marketplace operators a fully managed solution over and above simple payment processing, including escrow, fraud management, end user support, and dispute resolution.
“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,” he said.
As a result of the investment, PromisePay has offices in Melbourne and San Francisco and as a result of the investment will open a St Louis office to support its growing customer base in the US. The company expects to double its head count while growing revenue more than 10 fold in the coming year.
Reinventure Group has taken an equity stake in the startup alongside investors Mark Harbottle, co-founder of design marketplace 99designs, Cultivation Capital, which is led by Square co-founder Jim McKelvey and Australian tech VC fund rampersand.
The investment will give Westpac a better understanding of the ways payment systems for online marketplaces, such as Uber and Airbnb, operate and function.
“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,” Reinventure Group co-founder Simon Cant said.
Westpac tipped $50 million into the independently run Reinventure Group in February last year. PromisePay is the fund’s fourth investment. Previous investments include SocietyOne, local community social network Nabo and big data analytics firm Zetaris Corporation.