Software may be eating the world, but at present, it’s only been nibbling at entertainment venues and sports stadiums. With the wave of easy-to-use, mobile friendly payment solutions like Square, sweeping through eCommerce, vendors are well aware that they need to upgrade their clunky payment systems. But the problem, Brandon Lloyd tells us, is that most solutions on the market today require venues to buy expensive point-of-sale hardware solutions, which often require them to start over from scratch and rearrange the entire sales process.
The initial wave of innovating in payment solutions (like Square) has addressed low-volume merchants and small businesses, leaving enterprise players and high-volume merchants (like professional sports venues) out to dry. Lloyd founded Bypass in 2010 to address these two problems, leveraging a software-centric, SaaS approach to help enterprise merchants upgrade and simplify their payment solutions.
With its payment solution now being used at big-name venues like The Pepsi Center in Denver and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Bypass has begun to catch the attention of investors. The startup is announcing today that it has just finalized a strategic investment led by eBay and AEG. The new round, along with the seed and Series A capital the startup raised has raised from investors like Nolan Ryan, Red McCombs (former owner of the Vikings, Nuggets and Spurs), Casey Wasserman, the Chairman and CEO Of Wasserman Media Group, and Capital Sports and Entertainment, brings its total funds raised to date to just over $3.5 million.
The startup will use the new capital to extend its more than 2,00,000 commerce entry points in sports and entertainment venues that represent clients across the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, NCAA, MLB, universities and music venues.
“Running an event at AT&T Park is quite a bit different from managing a coffee shop,” Lloyd says, “it’s the equivalent of having 50 small merchants working from a single warehouse to supply 60,000 fans at different service points exactly when they need it.” Thus, Bypass has created a solution tailored specifically to the highly complex, high-volume processes of enterprise vendors, implementing both fixed and mobile solutions that support a variety of use cases, like concessions, merchandisers, suites, club seats, portables, desert carts, and hawkers.
Instead of selling hardware or processing, Bypass is taking the SaaS approach to a large market — one that requires vertical expertise to provide any significant ROI — to replace electronic registers with a product that can easily communicate with the online world and interact with sales, marketing and service functions inherent to big venues.
Bypass allows venues to provide premium ticket holders with a tailored mobile solution that allows them to swipe and sign on a vendor’s device, along with providing customer-facing mobile apps customized for the venue, and dongles that allow any concession stand or merchandiser to accept payments from their phone. Along with inventory controls and reporting capabilities, the startup’s solution works across devices and payment locations to surface data about how fans are engaging in commerce and provide insight that can help them boost their bottom line.
For more, find Bypass at home here.