Business Technology

PayPal to mentor UK firms for third time as 6 startups complete Start Tank scheme

6 min read

26 October 2015

Former deputy editor

The second UK outing of Start Tank, a six-month mentoring programme from PayPal and its Braintree division, has come to an end. The six startups that completed the scheme are now ready to spread their wings, which means PayPal is seeking a new batch of companies for a third incubation period.

In March, Real Business revealed how the companies from the inaugural Start Tank grew over the six-month period of mentoring from PayPal and its subsidiary Braintree.

Mobile payments firm Braintree was a startup itself when PayPal acquired it for $800m in 2013 in order to expand its mobile presence.

Given that, companies that take part in the Start Tank are housed at Braintree’s office in London, where access to guidance and advice from Braintree and PayPal teams is readily available.

In addition to a rent-free workspace, Start Tank firms are also provided a membership to PayPal’s Blueprint programme, which provides free transaction volume of up to $1.5m with PayPal and up to $100,000 with Braintree.

Real Business was in attendance at the second graduation event, where founders from the six startups in the Start Tank presented business concepts and discussed the time spent being incubated. PayPal also leveraged contacts from the investment world and the likes of DNCapital were also in attendance.

Why Camden Market partnered with a business incubator based on a double-decker bus

The six startups from the second Start Tank cycle include:

Henchman

This marks the second time that Henchman took part in the Start Tank, which means the company can no longer reapply. Operating as a mobile app, Henchman provides one-hour delivery to Londoners from any restaurant or stores, such as McDonald’s or Topshop. The company has reported a 24 per cent week-on-week growth in the past six months, and it also expanded the area of delivery by more than 50 per cent.

Localz

Like Henchman, Localz also returned for a second cycle, so it won’t be back for a third time. Prior to joining Start Tank, the company had already experienced success as the winner of John Lewis’ JLAB incubator. Localz harnesses location-based beacon technology to deliver messages and alerts to consumers on behalf of clients, and has doubled revenue and team members during incubation. It also has four large partner deals to go live across the US and Asia in Q1 2016.

Mihaibao

Ecommerce company Mihaibao is designed to capitalise on the appetite that Chinese consumers have for western goods. As such, the firm’s website allows shoppers in China to buy luxury items from the west, including clothes, accessories and shoes from the likes of Burberry and Stella McCartney. The company has grown to 13 full-time team members, generated a sales figure of $900,000 and raised a $1.3m angel investment.

DemoBox

Formerly known as AudioTribe, DemoBox has revised its service over the past six months to come out on the other side as a digital music platform that represents and connects unsigned and rising musicians.

MegaTransfert

MegaTransfert targets millennials and gamers with a mobile payment service that allows them to produce their own e-money. With a firm business model in place and understanding of its target audience, the company has increased the productivity of its online story and plans to push into new European markets next year.

ZipCube

Referred to as the Airbnb for offices, ZipCube is an instant booking platform that lists work and event spaces for hire. The company grew the number of bookable spaces in central London by 200 per cent during incubation and has raised investment to expand its service.

Read more on business mentoring and incubators:

“We have been thrilled to host and help these six resident startups over the past six months. Braintree and PayPal began as startups – so we understand what’s important,” said Corrado Tomassoni, ‎global director of startups, accelerators and VCs at PayPal and Braintree.

“We believe that for startups to succeed, they need a community in which to thrive and we also know how every penny counts in the first few years. We believe that our Start Tank programme provides support and environment for these two major priorities for startups.”

Applications for the third Start Tank are now open and they’re not restricted to UK startups, with overseas companies making up a number of the previous applications – Localz was founded in Australia, for example.

The third Start Tank will begin in early 2016 and interested parties must apply by midnight on Monday 16 November.

Tomassoni added: “We look forward to seeing how these companies continue to grow and flourish in the years to come and we are excited about what Start Tank cycle 3 might bring in 2016.”