Paydiant picks up $7.6 million Series A round

Stealth mobile payments startup aiming to get ahead of the curve

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
February 22, 2011
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Paydiant, a stealth mobile payments startup, announced Tuesday that it has closed a $7.6 million Series A round of funding led by North Bridge Venture Partners and General Catalyst Partners.
Jim Moran, General Partner at North Bridge, and John Simon, Managing Director at General Catalyst, have joined the company's board of directors.
Besides being based in Boston, Paydiant has not revealed many details about itself. The service, which will be launching later this year, will connect merchants and financial institutions with mobile users, as indicated by the two iPhone screenshots on the site. The ultimate goal is to “help customers make everyday payments with their mobile phones.”

While we don’t know much about Paydiant itself, we do know a bit about its three co-founders, Chris Gardner, Kevin Laracey and Joe Paratore.
Laracey was most recently a venture partner at Sigma Partners, an investor in early-stage companies like Doxo, Nasuni and Soladigm. Before Sigma, Laracey served as co-founder and CEO at edocs, an e-billing and payment management platform acquired by Siebel Systems for $115 million in cash in December 2004. (Oracle acquired Siebel in September 2005 for $5.8 billion.)

The other two Paydiant co-founders also worked at edocs. Gardner had served as VP of products and marketing and Paratore as VP of engineering and technical services. After the acquisition by Siebel, both went on to work for m-Qube, another mobile payments and media provider. At m-Qube, Gardner served as senior VP of products and marketing and Paratore served as senior VP of technology operations.

More recently, Paratore continued his work at m-Qube, which was acquired by Verisign in 2006, and Gardner served as CMO at ExtendMedia, a digital media and software monetization company acquired by Cisco in 2010.

Even without seeing any of the details behind Paydiant, it’s clear why they got funded. Mobile payments, which totaled $162 million last year, will increase more than sixfold to $984 million in 2014, according to data released today by eMarketer viaYankee Group. Despite security and privacy concerns, paying with a smartphone or similarly-enabled mobile device just seems inevitable at this point.

Paydiant will use its newest investment to accelerate product development, sales and marketing.

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