Wipit is an early-stage venture in the burgeoning mobile payments industry focused on enabling the cash-preferred consumer to make mobile e-commerce transactions. In the US alone, there are over 42.2 million under-banked and un-banked households and a rapidly growing number of over 50 million prepaid mobile-phone subscribers. Mobile e-commerce revenues are projected to grow at a rapid pace to quickly rival traditional e-commerce figures. Wipit is strongly positioned to take advantage of these two disruptive global trends with a highly successful team that includes the Founder and former President of Virgin Mobile USA and former VP of Sales & Marketing of Boost Mobile USA.
CEO & Co-Founder: Richard Kang is a seasoned executive with over 10 years of wireless telecom industry experience, most recently as an equity partner at VHA and Eureka Revenue Inc. (Eureka!), where he carried the roles of Vice President of Sales and General Manager. VHA is a national leader in the distribution of prepaid telecom products and the highest volume distributor for Boost Mobile. Richard guided Eureka! through its entrepreneurial stages and established it as a leading distributor of prepaid airtime, eventually reaching annual revenues of over $192 million. He has also held executive positions at several partners of AT&T Wireless, where he worked closely with the carrier in developing highly successful Master Agent and retail Premier Exclusive Agent distribution programs. Richard graduated from Cal Poly, Pomona and received his Global Executive MBA at The USC Marshall School of Business.
Vice President of Software Development: Lance Taschner has developed a unique mix of business and technology acumen over his nearly 20 years of experience as a successful software architect and developer. He has worked on many high profile projects for companies including Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Kingston Technologies. In 2005 - 2007, Lance held the executive position of Director of Engineering for the successful prepaid transaction processing startup EWI. At EWI, he played a key role in the company’s acquisition by Blackhawk Networks (a subsidiary of Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY)) one of the foremost leaders in the prepaid gift card industry. Lance graduated from UC San Diego and majored in Computer Science.
Executive Chairman: John D. Tantum is an accomplished entrepreneur and a recognized leader in the mobile communications business. John was founder and president of Virgin Mobile USA. He developed the initial Virgin business plan and marketing strategy, built the top management team, created its key partnerships with networks and retailers, and helped to raise the funding to take the business through profitability. Virgin Mobile USA listed on the NYSE in 2007 and was acquired by Sprint Nextel in 2009. Since Virgin, John has created and led several other mobile businesses. He cofounded and was chairman of mobile email company Peek. He established and led the US affiliate of Digicel Group, the largest mobile operator in the Caribbean. He also led a portion of the mobile information business of Telephia, which was acquired in 2007 by Nielsen. Between 1994 and 2000, John was with the management-consulting firm McKinsey & Company. John graduated from Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Co-Founder: Michael Lanzon is a successful global business executive and leader, having held senior roles in sales, marketing, and general management. Michael entered into the high-tech and telecom industries in 1997 as Director of Creative Sales for the largest integrated marketing agency in Australia with a client roster that included companies like Microsoft, Palm, Vodafone and Virgin. Michael went on to be a key member of the founding team that launched Boost Mobile Australia in 1999, New Zealand in 2000 and USA in 2002. At Boost Mobile USA, Michael held the executive roles of Vice President of Sales & Marketing and interim General Manager, departing in 2008. Today, Boost Mobile is a leading lifestyle based mobile network in the USA and Australia with over $3 billion in revenue, and is considered by many to be the most successful mobile carrier in its targeted demographic. Michael co-founded and launched avant.garde.works, a boutique consulting firm targeting companies in the telecommunications, IT, and consumer electronics space. Michael graduated from the University of Technology in Sydney and received executive education at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Co-Founder: Job Tucker is an accomplished global sales and marketing executive with extensive experience leading teams, building premium brands, and distributing goods in both the domestic and international markets. In 2001, Job held the role of International Territory Manager for Oakley Inc., where he successfully managed offices located in Canada and South Africa, as well as distributors from Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Sub-Continent, and the Mediterranean. As the Director of National Sales and Distribution at Boost Mobile, Job led a nationwide sales team that grew the retail distribution from 300 acquisition and 3K replenishment locations to 10K and 100K respectively from 2004-08. Most recently, Job co-founded and launched avant.garde.works, a boutique consulting firm. Job graduated from UC Santa Barbara, and received Global Executive MBAs from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and ESADE’s Business School.
Board of Advisors, Investor: Professor Baizhu Chen, Ph.D is the Academic Director of the Global Executive MBA program at The USC Marshall School of Business. Professor Chen teaches in the Depart- ment of Finance, and specializes in International Economics, Macroeconomics, and Chinese Financial Markets. He is also the Chief Economist at Sino-Century Capital, a VC firm in Shanghai and a senior researcher in the Institute of Finance and Banking, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Professor Chen is a member of the Overseas Chinese Expert Advisors Committee to the Minister of Sciences and Technologies (MOST) of P.R. China. He has trained and consulted senior executives of various Chinese companies including GF Securities (a brokerage firm), Friendship Group (a retail holding group), Xi’an Janssen and Eli Lilly (pharmaceutical companies), LuJiaZui Group (a real estate holding company), the Shanghai Stock Exchange, and the Pudong Government of Shanghai. Dr. Chen received his Ph.D and M.A. in economics from the University of Rochester and his B.S. in mathematics from Fudan University in China.
Board of Advisors: Bryan Cheung is a technology services and software professional currently serving as CEO of Liferay, Inc., a privately held commercial software company. Liferay is leading innovation in the enterprise market by leveraging the long-tail economics and social networking benefits of open source communities. In his role, Bryan has grown the company over six years to eight-figure revenue and 200 employees in 2010. Under his leadership, Liferay has evolved from a professional services model to a subscription-based recurring revenue model. Liferay’s rapid growth has led to subsidiaries in Frankfurt, Madrid, Budapest, Bangalore, Brazil, China, and Malaysia, and its customer roster includes Allianz Insurance, Apple, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Bank, Honda, Lufthansa Flight Training, and T-Mobile. Bryan got his start in professional services in the Global TIS group within Accenture, specializing in emerging technologies, after receiving his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley.
wipit will charge a small “percentage-of-transaction” based fee to the Merchant or Developer similar to those charged when merchants accept a credit card transaction.
wipit has partnered with Euronet Worldwide (NASDAQ: EEFT) to utilize their global network of tens of thousands of prepaid reload locations and to leverage their global sales relationships which will enable them to scale rapidly and with a high degree of cost efficiency. In addition to our Euronet partnership, the wipit leadership team possesses in-depth expertise and a proven track record in providing consumer branded mobile services to the cash-preferred consumer segment. This unique knowledge, passion, and talent is expressed in every fine detail of our branding and product design.