Los Angeles Business Journal

Mobile Payments Startup Raises Funding

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Several companies are looking to move your wallet onto your phone. But the crowded marketplace hasn't stopped a Pasadena startup from garnering local investor interest.

Wipit, a company that provides mobile payment services for the under-banked, announced Wednesday that it has raised an undisclosed amount of series A funding from Core Innovation Capital in Hollywood.

Core Managing Partner Arjan Schütte will join the Wipit board as part of the deal.

Core, which recently moved from New York to Los Angeles, invests in financial technology companies that help the under-banked.

Schütte said Core was attracted to Wipit because of its ability to to tap into wide distribution channels through cellphone partnerships.

"We believe better financial services will happen because they will be distributed in different places," he said. "We're interested in Wipit because of the power of their distribution channel."

Wipit – which has also raised funding from Euronet Worldwide and H&R Block, among others – is currently powering the mobile wallet feature for pre-paid wireless service Boost Mobile. Using the mobile wallet, people can make payments and cash checks through their phones.

The company's mobile wallet includes features that are especially helpful to the under-banked. For example, a person can cash a check through the phone and have instant access to the cash. Using a large bank such as Bank of America, it could take a couple of days before that cash is available to spend.

Wipit Chief Executive Richard Kang said the company has found a like-minded partner in Core.

"We think that we are gaining so much more than just the capital they invested," he said. "It's really the network, the relationships and the resources they have. They are very valuable to helping us achieve our mission."