Plynk brings its A game
By CEO Charles Dowd
This morning at Moneyconf in Madrid there will be a panel seeking to “untangle the complex web of e-payments”.
On the stage will be CEO of YoYo Wallet (raised $15 million) and the Executive Director Europe of the ATM Industry Association. And me.
I wonder how many puzzled reactions the line-up got. How is a seed-stage start-up with a five-month old app taking on a third of this debate?
When Clive Foley and I founded Plynk in 2015, we made three strategic decisions on our product and infrastructure.
First, we bet on dedicated IBANs – from the beginning. After two-minute sign-up with three questions, users have a Plynk account addressable on the global banking system.
We bet on merchant issuing. Cards aren’t perfect but they’re still the preferred payment method. And we’re very interested in what users prefer. Our bet put virtual Mastercards inside our app and Apple and Android Pay on our road map.
Lastly, we bet on messaging. Four years in Facebook impressed on me what a pillar of daily life messaging apps are. Friends chat about money; shared bills, group gifts, tickets, splitting the cost of the Airbnb. They do that on WhatsApp, Messenger, and in the last five months: Plynk.
But on Plynk, they send the money in the same group chat that they talk about it.
Several investors, including Bank of Ireland, have backed our bets.
But payments is an expensive space to play in.
This morning our bets got bigger. €25 million bigger.
Private investment trust Swiss Privée Ltd believes in our pan-European vision and knows it’ll take significant resources to execute it. They’ve committed to a Series A raise of €25 million. It’s one of the largest ever Series A raises in Irish history, and probably the largest for a software company in Ireland.
Our growth plan is to become a verb, in every European language. That’ll take cash (tick), an excellent team, and a product that responds to a real consumer need.
Our bet is the Plynk app can do this, and Swiss Privée Ltd thinks so too.
We’re not first to the party, but we might just be able to bring the most fun.
And we all know that the ‘the complex web of e-payments’ could use more of that.