Part of the challenge for any startup is getting people to know and love your product. This is particularly important in categories where there are numerous larger, better funded incumbents. The online payments category, with Web 1.0 giant PayPal, and new challengers Square, Stripe, Braintree, and Authorize.net certainly qualifies as such an industry.
That’s why WePay’s GIF based product announcement today is such a stroke of genius. In addition to the standard (read boring) press release, the company issued a animated image-based announcement that contained Derek Zoolander, Ron Burgundy, “Dumb and Dumber,” and David Hassellhoff. Believe me, I read all the way to the end.
The four-year-old startup started out by introducing an alternative to the PayPal payment button, aimed at small and medium sized businesss. The company differentiated itself by focusing on ease of use, customer service, and speed of funds availability.
One reason it’s able to make funds available so quickly is that WePay underwrites the risk associated with each merchant differently than its competitors, focusing mostly on social reputation as guaged by platforms like Facebook and Yelp. The company currently has 250,000 primarily service based merchants who have processed over $100 million in payments from 1.5 million customers to date.
Today, WePay launched its first native mobile app (iOS only) to allow businesses to accept credit card payments and manage invoicing on the go. Both PayPal and Square have dongle-based solutions that handle the first half of this problem, but neither focuses on the merchant tools like invoicing. It’s unlikely that WePay will win the broader payments market, but it may be able to build a significant business serving this niche better than anyone else.
The comapany has raised $19.2 million across two rounds of financing from Highland Capital Partners, August Capital, Raymond Tonsing, Dave McClure, Max Levchin, and Y Combinator.
Wepay is in a very crowded space and looking to differentiate itself however possible. Today’s creative announcement was a great example of doing just that.
AT FIRST WEPAY HELPED GROUPS COLLECT MONEY ONLINE
ALONG THE WAY WE HEARD SMALL BUSINESSES WERE FRUSTRATED GETTING PAID ONLINE
THEY GOT SLAMMED WITH CONFUSING FEES
AND THERE WAS NO CUSTOMER SUPPORT TO HELP THEM
SO NOW WE MAKE IT EASY FOR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SMALL BUSINESSES TO GET PAID
WE HAVE AWESOME CUSTOMER SUPPORT PEOPLE FOR YOU TO TALK WITH
WE HELP ALL KINDS OF SMALL BUSINESSES GET PAID. EVEN THIS GUY
AND THIS GUY WHO NEEDS TO GET PAID ON THE GO
SO TODAY WE RELEASED AN IPHONE APP THAT HELPS BUSINESSES GET PAID ANYWHERE
BUT THEN WE NEEDED HELP ANNOUNCING IT SO WE TRIED TO THINK OF CELEBRITIES THAT UNDERSTAND HASSLES
AND WE FOUND ONE
SO TAKE WEPAY + SWEET BROWN AND CHECK OUT THE RESULT HERE: