Phil Purcell, co-founder of Discover Card and former CEO of Morgan Stanley, now is focused on helping newer companies grow with Continental Investors. His latest venture involves WePay, which has built a payment application programming interface (API) specifically for such platform businesses as online marketplaces, crowdfunding sites and small-business software providers.
WePay today announced $15 million in Series C financing led by Purcell that it plans to use to accelerate its growth through additional investments in its API and for international expansion.
The financing represents a significant boost for a company that once focused its efforts entirely on consumer-based initiatives. It now plans to discontinue it’s direct-to-consumer offering.
“What we found as we grew was there was an opportunity to help people one by one, but really a much larger opportunity by servicing these platforms,” WePay CEO Bill Clerico told PYMNTS.com CEO Karen Webster in an exclusive interview ahead of today’s announcement. (Jump to 4:11) “So we’re aggregating hundreds of thousands, or millions, of people into some really interesting commerce experiences.”
New Company Focus
What WePay did over the past two years is take the technology and core capabilities it had built for individuals and created an API around them so they could integrate into a partner platform. And over time, the company found its customers liked the move, so now the API for partner platforms has become its core business, Clerico said in the interview.
WePay provides the platforms with flexibility to design new commerce experiences while protecting them from the burdens of fraud and compliance issues. The company’s clients use its API to process transactions, with WePay having done so for some 250,000 customers, including such platform providers as GoFundMe, HoneyFund, CustomMade, Care.com and LessAccounting.
Because many of WePay’s U.S. customers have international growth plans, the company plans to use part of the funding round to help with its own global initiatives. Companies need a payment system to match what’s used elsewhere, and WePay plans to help its customers along the way, Clerico said.
“We believe that by providing a global payment solution that solves risk and compliance for these platforms, we can help them grow faster internationally to achieve their objectives,” he said in the interview. (Jump to 7:30) In its news release announcing the funding round, WePay, which says it has more than 300 platform partners, notes that its payment API has grown by more than 600 percent in the past year.
”Platform businesses like marketplaces, crowdfunding sites and small-business software are the most exciting segment in eCommerce today,” Purcell noted in the press release announcing the funding. “WePay’s focus here, coupled with their ability to give these platforms a payment solutions that offers both flexibility and protection from fraud and compliance risk, is a recipe for success.”
Continental Investors has invested in various other companies as well, including loyalty/payments company LevelUp.
Also participating in the funding round were Max Levchin, founder and former chief technology officer at PayPal; Maynard Webb, former chief operating officer of eBay and CEO of LiveOps, through the WIN Investment Network; and Angel Investor Raymond Tonsing.
To learn more about WePay’s plans for its API and international growth, PYMNTS.com CEO Karen Webster spoke with Clerico and Purcell in an exclusive interview. Listen to the full podcast below.
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