Smart payment terminal manufacturer Poynt raises $28M

Steven Loeb · October 22, 2015 · Short URL:

The company also announced that is now the first fully certified smart terminal on the market

The payments landscape is rapidly changing, From Google Wallet and Apple Pay to QR codes and Bitcoin, merchants are increasingly confused as to what’s relevant and what may be a waste of money.

Smart payment terminal manufacturer Poynt wants to make it easier for merchants to keep up, and it has now raised a $28 million Series B funding round, the company announced on Thursday.

The round was led by Oak HC/FT, with participation from Stanford-StartX Fund as well as previous investors Matrix Partners, Webb Investment Network, and Nyca Ventures. The company has previously raised an undisclosed initial Series A round last year. Prior investors include Matrix Partners, Webb Investment Network, Google Ventures, Nyca Partners and other individual investors.

Founded in 2013, Poynt provides the Poynt Smart Terminal, which is a multipurpose device that combines mobile with the latest in payments technology. It also offers its open platform, called PoyntOS.

The Poynt Smart Terminal, the team at Poynt told me, "brings the versatility of a mobile device to a future-proof payment terminal at a price that any merchant can afford."

The company did that by turning "the traditional payment terminal into a fully touchscreen, multipurpose device."

Poynt supports all five payment technologies needed for the next decade: magnetic stripe, chip cards, NFC, QR code and beacon, all directly within the device, with no add-ons or dongles needed.

"Given the innovation in mobile consumer devices in recent years, there had to be a better way for merchants. We are passionate about helping merchants run their businesses more efficiently and we believe the Poynt Smart Terminal is the key to making that happen for millions of merchants. We are doing for merchant what the smartphone did for consumers."

In addition to funding, Poynt also announced a number of key hires, including Tony Miranz, former CEO and co-founder of VUDU, a Walmart company, who was recently named Poynt’s COO.

The company also added Aaron Leiba, a former Intel, Google, Apple, and Palm executive, as its VP of hardware engineering, and Musaab At-Taras, a former eBay and PayPal executive who most recently served as PayPal’s head of global strategic integrations, has joined Poynt as VP of software development.

On top of that Ann Lamont, Managing Partner at Oak HC/FT, will join Poynt’s board of directors, and Patricia Kemp, General Partner at Oak HC/FT, will become a board observer.

Poynt separates itself from the competition through its founding belief that "all merchants should have access to innovative technology without compromising on security or user experience."

"We set out to fix broken commerce infrastructure by bringing developers, distributors and merchants together on an open platform running on top of a smart, multipurpose device. Poynt is a "payment terminal" like those you see on merchant counters. But unlike those traditional payment terminals, Poynt's Smart Terminal is an open platform for developers to build solutions for merchants," the team told me.

"Poynt takes care of all payment methods. Also important to note that Poynt Smart Terminal is designed to integrate well with other devices. So other service providers can build solutions that run on the Poynt Smart Terminal or integrate with a Poynt Smart Terminal as it may fit their needs."

In addition to the funding, the company also announced on Thursday that its hardware and software platform have received PCI PTS, PCI-DSS, PA-DSS and EMV-certification, making it the first fully certified smart terminal on the market today. There are only 85 devices of any kind that have achieved this level of certification and none of them would be anything close to what you’d consider a Smart Terminal.

"This is a big deal because it designates Poynt as the only Smart Terminal available to all acquiring banks and ISOs to be deemed a 'secure' product from a liability standpoint. It is an enormous win from a partnership and sales standpoint," the team said.

When Osama Bedier, founder and CEO of Poynt, unveiled the prototype for the Poynt Smart Terminal last year, it was thought that certification would be impossible, with many consultants and field experts saying that Poynt would need to change its design to achieve certification.

"For example, no one has ever received certification for a dual screen device, no one has ever introduced a payment terminal that functions the way the Poynt Smart Terminal does period, so there was no precedent. But Poynt pushed," I was told.

"The Poynt team went through great lengths with its lab and PCI to defend its solution and position. It’s taken a year to do it, but now anyone who partners with Poynt or that purchases a Poynt Smart Terminal will know with certainty that they’re getting a secure terminal."

The money, which was raised a few months ago, has already enabled Poynt to accelerate production, aggressively recruit new partners, and hire top talent. It is enabling the company to rapidly scale as it begins shipment of its Smart Terminal.

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