Mobile commerce will obviously become huge, as more and more users get used to making purchases through their phones and tablet devices. But a lot of mobile apps still make it too difficult for users to just, you know, buy stuff. Well, mobile commerce startup PayDragon wants to make buying items on your phone so easy that there will be nothing to stop users from making a bunch of purchases they’ll later regret. Like, one-click easy.
PayDragon, which was built by Y Combinator-backed QR code company Paperlinks, was launched earlier this year as an ultra-easy way to skip lines and place orders at food trucks and other local food vendors. But the new Checkout feature will begin to take the app in a whole other direction.
Using the new PayDragon iPhone or Android app, users will be able to scan the barcode on almost any commodity or non-perishable grocery item, purchase it with one click, and have it delivered via two-day shipping with no muss or fuss. There’s no building of shopping carts, reviewing items, or doing a final once-over before clicking “buy.” Users just choose an item, click buy, and the item is on its way.
Mobile commerce and two-day shipping aren’t exactly new — Amazon has both — but the simplicity of the new PayDragon app is how the startup hopes to differentiate itself. CEO Hamilton Chan demoed the app to me in Los Angeles last week, and I was surprised by how easy it is, perfect for instant gratification for users who can’t be bothered to run to the grocery store or the nearest pharmacy whenever they’re out of toothpaste. Want to buy two of an item? Go back and click “buy” twice.
“It’s the perfect dude’s app,” Chan said. In addition to just providing near-instant gratification, the app also incentivizes users to buy with too-cutesy animations, a gamification aspect that gives users points for every purchase made, as well as rewards and discounts for those who make a ton of purchases through the app.
So how does it work on the back end? For now, Chan and team are actually just buying items at local vendors, packaging and shipping items themselves. That means users don’t have to worry about building a shopping cart or bundling items together — since PayDragon is taking care of fulfillment, it’ll package items together itself.
While the checkout feature has been added to the app, PayDragon will keep its legacy “Takeout” feature, allowing users to buy food from participating restaurants — but it’s clear that’s no longer the focus of the app. The PayDragon team clearly hopes to boost mobile commerce capabilities by making it drop-dead simple, so that users don’t actually have to go anywhere or do anything to get the items they want.
PayDragon has raised $1.35 million in seed funding from Rustic Canyon Partners, SV Angel, Yuri Milner, and Mark Schwartz.