For the myriad European mobile card reader startups taking advantage of Square’s continued absence in the region, the race to build out their businesses and get big enough to survive the inevitable consolidation continues. The latest step for Berlin-based mobile payment startup SumUp is a partnership with app maker blue:solution software, developer of the TopReparatur platform which is used by 10,000 artisans and repair people across Germany.
TopReparatur’s iOS and Android software allows users to track, manage and create contracts for hands-on work, and includes tools for firms employing multiple repair people to manage and provision jobs from a central console. SumUp said it has struck a deal with blue:solutions to integrate the SumUp API into TopReparatur so that users will be able to take card payments for completed jobs via their mobile devices.
Any TopReparatur user wanting to take payment via SumUp will also need to request a (free) SumUp reader before being able to take payments. SumUp will then take a fixed 2.75% per transaction fee on any jobs paid for via its system. Customer invoices can be sent digitally via SMS or email.
A spokesman for SumUp said it’s too early to say how many TopReparatur users will sign up for SumUp. “The partnership’s just begun and the merchants have to ‘ask’ for a reader (i.e. get themselves set up as SumUp customers) to take advantage so it’ll take a bit of time before we reach our potential in terms of active user artisans converted as a result of the deal,” he said. “All we can say is that 10,000 is the maximum number.”
Ralf Ruschoff, CEO of blue: solution, talked up the convenience of offering its users the ability to take payments on site at the end of a job. While SumUp CEO Stefan Jeschonnek, added in a statement: “The kind of independent crafts and repair-people that use TopReparatur are exactly who we imagined helping when we launched SumUp. Blue: solution needed a partner with a cost-effective mobile payments platform capable of scaling with their rapidly-expanding userbase.”
It’s not the first time SumUp has done an app tie-up in a bid to drive usage of its mobile payment offering. In December it announced a nationwide partnership with German taxi hailing mobile app, Taxi.de. The startup said it has also done deals with “numerous local and regional taxi associations” in the country, and has also partnered with roc.Kasse, DaWanda and 9Flats.
SumUp, which is backed by more than $20 million in funding from b-to-v Partners, Shortcut Ventures, Tengelmann Ventures and Klaus Hommels, now operates in 10 European countries. It has not broken out any user figures yet — but it told TechCrunch that it has signed up “tens of thousands” of merchants across Europe, adding: “We are now signing up 1,000+ merchants every week.”
SumUp rival iZettle, which has amassed a customer base of more than 75,000 small businesses and individuals in six European countries, partnered with carrier EE for its U.K. launch in November — and is similarly targeting its marketing at tradespeople who might otherwise be taking cash in hand.