Pushpay secures more than $1 million funding

Auckland-based mobile payments company Pushpay has raised more than $1 million in capital from local investors, the company announced today.

Pushpay links customers to retailers through its app, allowing users to make purchases by transferring funds directly from their bank account to the business. The two-year old company says hundreds of thousands of dollars have been transferred through its app in New Zealand, however as of August last year the app has only been downloaded 814 times in New Zealand (the company estimates it has just over 1,000 users since its launch in June 2012), and businesses mostly limited to churches and a handful of charities.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly said Pushpay's app had been downloaded 500 times.

The funding was led by local investment groups, including Doug Kemsley, who sat on the board of telco Maxnet for a decade. Kemsley joins Pushpay's board of directors.

“Mobile payments are the future and Pushpay is responding to changes in consumer behavior while making life easier for businesses. It’s a compelling offer with huge potential for growth,” says Kemsley.

Pushpay chief executive and co-founder Chris Heaslip says the million dollar investment will be used to get a foothold in the US, and further develop the Pushpay product. 

“We are in an exciting stage of growth and believe our fast, easy and secure platform is in a position to make significant gains in the United States, where mobile payment adoption is growing rapidly,” he says.

Pushpay already has sales staff in California and the company says it intends to up the ante there over the next year. Pushpay faces stiff competition in the North American market however, with mobile payment competitors such as Google Wallet, Paypal, and Silicon-valley sweetheart Square which have the advantage of a strong presence and existing mind-share.

Read more about Pushpay and its founders in our in-depth article from the January/ February issue of Idealog.