Business Technology

How 5 startups developed with PayPal's London mentorship scheme

5 min read

23 March 2015

Former deputy editor

The debut Start Tank mentorship programme from PayPal and Braintree has come to an end after six months. And as the payment firms prepare to welcome another selection of startups into the latter's London office, they've revealed how the five companies graduating from the scheme have grown over the period.

Braintree is well aware of what life as a startup is like – the one-touch digital payment service was acquired by PayPal in late 2013 for $800m, while it counts Airbnb, Uber and Lyft among clients.

Together, PayPal and Braintree launched the first Start Tank in October 2014, providing a complimentary co-working space for six months in the latter’s central London office to five startups, including: BarPass, Henchman, Localz, Megatransfert and Trendii.

In addition to mentoring and guidance as a way of nurturing the startup market, each involved company receives access to the Startup Blueprint scheme, which grants them free transaction volume up to $1.5m with PayPal and free transaction volume up to $100,000 with Braintree.

John Lunn, senior global director, Braintree and PayPal Startup Relations, said: “We are thrilled to host and help these five resident start ups over the past six months. The evolution of these companies is incredible and we are eager to see how the solutions and services they created continue to flourish beyond their time in the Start Tank.

“All equally different and equally promising, it’s been great fun to mentor the five startups together with my colleagues across PayPal and Braintree including startup advisors, sales, legal, merchant services, finance, human resources and product.”

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Find out how the Start Tank companies have developed over the six months:

Bar Pass

Bar Pass is centred on the hospitality space and builds apps to let customers pay for food and order drinks via smartphone. During the Start Tank, the company has grown from six to 14 employees, increased use of ordering by 60 per cent month-on-month, and boosted revenue by 300 per cent year-on-year. Additionally, Bar Pass has secured a contract with the Aintree Racecourse to develop a bespoke ordering service for the Grand National.

Henchman

Henchman’s service allows users to order anything from a restaurant or shop and have it delivered within one hour. Over the six months, the business achieved 100 per cent month-on-month growth in revenue and delivery numbers, raised £50,000 from angel investors and added 3,000 new users alongside more restaurant partnerships.

Localz

Localz already has experience with business incubators, having previously won John Lewis’ JLAB scheme in 2014. It uses iBeacon technology to provide location-based interactions on iOS and Android, and double the team from seven to 14 full-time employees during the Start Tank. Key client deals and customers trials were also secured with John Lewis, Woolworths Australia and more, while partnerships were also sealed with the likes of Salesforce.

MegaTransfert

A mobile payment service that targets millennials and gamers, MegaTransfert allows users to create their own e-money, and has boosted profitability by 30 per cent year-on-year while on the scheme. Team growth went from eight people in France to 27 people across France, the UK and Ireland, while a deal was closed with Amazon Europe for 500,000 free MP3 gift cards.

Trendii

Social commerce platform Trendii enables people to create ad share images, videos, audio and articles in hope of inspiring others. The channel has now been launched worldwide and a team of community managers have been appointed in Europe, South America, Central American and Australia.

The second Start Tank will begin in April, and applications are being accepted until 25 March.

Ben Floyd, co-founder of Bar Pass, added: “It’s been an awesome six months. We’ve had a lot of fun. We’ve met some incredible people, made some important partnerships which have helped us achieve most of the goals we set out to accomplish while we were here. We’re really grateful to our mentors from PayPal and Braintree for all their support.”