Blispay raises $12 million to help retail customers avoid payments for 6 months
If you’re looking to buy something, but don’t want to pay for it yet, Blispay thinks it has the solution for you. The startup works with small and mid-sized businesses to help retail customers defer payments for six months.
Baltimore-based Blispay has been gaining traction and raised an additional $12 million in funding after raising about the same amount last year. FirstMark Capital and New Enterprise Associates were among the participants in this round. Vince Talbert, co-founder of Bill Me Later and partner at Camden Partners is joining the board.
Blispay founder and CEO Greg Lisiewski told TechCrunch that he is looking to take on Max Levchin’s Affirm and also PayPal Credit, where he used to work. But instead of just focusing online, they want to bring this concept to physical stores.
There are already competitors like Synchrony Financial who work with larger businesses, but Lisiewski felt that medium-sized retailers were underserved. Blispay is “really focused on leveling the playing field,” he said.
If someone walks into a participating store and wants to make a purchase of at least $199 without paying anything upfront, they can sign up on the Blispay app in 2-3 minutes and once they submit the form they will find out if their credit is approved within 15-20 seconds. They can then take the item home without any payments or any interest for six months, while also getting 2% cash back. Blispay makes money off customers who don’t end up paying for the item when the six months comes around and then they are subject to 19.99% interest.
But as far as the businesses are concerned, it costs them nothing more than the roughly 3% credit card processing fee that they would be paying Visa anyway. Blispay allows businesses “to leverage technology in a way that makes it efficient and affordable to service a far broader swath of a merchant base,” said Lisiewski.
Blispay also works online and can even double as a regular credit card. If the purchases are less than $199, the payment is due in 30 days.
The startup launched in 2014 and currently has 500 merchant partners and “thousands” of consumers using the service. Their initial focus was on the mid-Atlantic region, but they plan to use the funding to further expand nationally.