The adoption of contactless technology had been on the rise the last 3-4 years. The current COVID-19 pandemic has taken that adoption and super charged it as small businesses, restaurants and retailers look for ways to conduct business while keeping customers safe. There has been a noticeable uptick in investment and partnership activity in the SaaS community as startups and investors look to bolster these new solutions.
In the last week several early-stage startups have announced new seed rounds and partnerships as they help bring contactless payment, commerce and pickup technology to market. First is Cashdrop, a new, easy-to-use eCommerce platform for small businesses to start an online store on their phone in minutes. Unlike some of the a larger food delivery startups which collect massive fees from restaurants, Cashdrop only charges customers (the buyers, not the business) a small fee that is a proportion of their bill so that small businesses using the platform can realize the full revenue from their orders. Cashdrop recently received $2.7M in seed funding from Harlem Capital Partners, Founder Collective, Long Journey Ventures, and several other angels. We love the idea of a business model in which vendors get to keep their revenue and the customers using the app pay a small convenience fee to place their order.
For restaurants, another challenge with contactless payments is splitting the check amongst a group, especially for in-restaurant experiences. Paerpay and Paystri are teaming up to fix that. Paerpay is a mobile app that allows guests to split their order on their phones and pay their portion of the bill, this week they announced a partnership to bring Paerpay’s experience to Paystri’s payment solutions platform. By integrating with Paystri’s POS, Paerpay can pull in a tables order and allow the users to select which portion of the bill is theirs and then pay right from their phone giving this all the hallmarks of a great partnership. (Link to their joint announcement)
Also announcing funding this week is Minnow. Minnow has developed a network of IoT food-delivery and pickup pods that are completely contactless. Each cubby is designed to safely store food and ensure quality, the hot stuff stays hot, the cold stuff stays cold. Customers can pickup their delivery in the pod via a sleek mobile app in which their cubby pops open for them to retrieve their item. This week, Minnow announced a $3.4M seed round led by Elevate Capital, LPC Ventures and the Portland Seed Fund.
All of these companies are poised to make waves in helping bring us new contactless technology that will empower small businesses, restaurants and others in the future. Looking forward to see what innovations these teams have up their sleeves as they continue to build and grow.