Tackling payments for B2B is quite different from B2C, but Zerve, the B2B payments startup with backing from Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, is giving it a try.
Zerve has focused on B2B exchanges involving payments for businesses running activities—TechCrunch said “think OpenTable for events”—but now it’s using the B2B lessons learned for the differently-challenging consumer audience.
Zerve is “opening up for business as a direct-to-consumer portal, taking what was once a back-end platform that powered listings and sales for other businesses and making it open to all,” TechCrunch said. “The move comes as Zerve gears up also to launch its first partnerships with larger platforms that have also been eyeing up the activity space but have yet to build any services like these of their own.”
The transition has a certain logic to it. Consumers who attend the events Zerve’s B2B clients create tend to like them and they want to attend more. By establishing a direct relationship with Zerve, the consumers get access to many more events like the one they just attended. Put another way, Zerve is now working directly with it’s clients’ clients, but in such a way that shouldn’t take any business away from Zerve’s clients.
“Honestly the biggest competitor to Zerve on the consumer side of things is ‘dinner and a movie’ or on the tourism side of things, it would be the Statue of Liberty in NYC or Empire State Building in NYC,” Scott Newman, Zerve’s founder and exec chairman, told TechCrunch. “The problem of ‘What do you want to do today/tonight/next week?’ has just not been solved at all yet by technology.”