Zipmark, a pioneer in mobile and online payments, today announced that it has secured $2M in Series Seed funding led by Village Ventures and Contour Venture Partners and supported by NYC Seed, High Peaks Venture Capital and the New York City Investment Fund.
The New York City based company provides a direct and easy-to-use online payment platform that offers secure, Check21 compliant digital checks, and brings sophisticated check-processing infrastructure directly to billers and their customers.
"Our goal is to modernize the checkbook—to reduce the amount of time and money it takes to make a check payment, eliminate the possibility for bounced checks, and take all risk out of the equation for payer and payee alike," said CEO and co-founder Jay Bhattacharya, former SVP at Citi Ventures and co-founder of Mobile Money Ventures (acquired by Intuit in 2011). "Improving the payment and collection process is a huge opportunity for any company that bills its clients, such as real estate managers and utility companies where inefficient collection practices can be detrimental to the bottom line."
Zipmark's state of the art platform accepts secure payments from any bank, thrift or credit union checking account without onerous fees or long delays, charging 1% for each transaction with a cap at $5 regardless of the payment amount. With each transaction, Zipmark helps businesses and their customers lower payment processing administrative costs and eliminates the additional labor hours that result from bounced checks. The Zipmark Biller API can be easily integrated into traditional web payments, offering a lower cost alternative to credit and debit cards. Zipmark's iPhone app enables users to make payments for items such as rent, fees or subscriptions directly from paper invoices via QR codes.
"Zipmark is the first online payments company to dig beneath the user interface level and change the way money moves at the settlement level, correcting inefficiencies inherent in the current system," said Matt Harris, Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Village Ventures. "For a company in this space to succeed, it is critical to have a CEO with a strong financial background, which Zipmark has in Jay Bhattacharya. Co-founder and CTO Jake Howerton brings the technical vision to make the concept a reality."
With the cost of credit and debit transaction fees as well as NSF (non-sufficient funds) fees on the rise, there is a significant need among both small and large businesses across many industries for a more efficient electronic checking payment solution. Zipmark has seen overwhelmingly positive results in its pilot program with NYC real estate company Sunshine Suites: after only four months, ten percent of Sunshine Suites' tenants have begun paying their bills via Zipmark, significantly reducing payment processing fees for the company. In addition, because of reduced costs and no risk of bounced payments, Sunshine Suites was able to eliminate convenience fees for tenants.