Mobile payments startup Flint has been keeping a low profile for much of this year, but it’s looking like that quiet period is finally over. The company just recently launched support for Android in a bid to widen its reach, and today the startup has confirmed that it’s raised a $6 million Series B round led by Digicel Group with SVG Partners, Storm Ventures, and True Ventures also participating.
Wait, Digicel Group? Who? They’re not exactly a known quantity around these parts, but their oeuvre may just offer a glimpse at where the mobile payments startup goes next — it’s best known as a wireless service provider with networks peppering the Caribbean and the South Pacific.
“They’re kind of renegades in the mobile operator space,” CEO Greg Goldfarb told me. “Which is fine by us, we’re kinda the new kid on the block too.”
He isn’t kidding. If you haven’t been keeping tabs on the Flint odyssey, the startup launched in May 2012 to bring yet another perspective to the booming mobile payments space. In a nutshell, Flint wants to get a new generation of entrepreneurs and business owners processing payments on the fly without having to be tethered to a traditional countertop POS system.And I know what you’re thinking: I’ve heard that before too.
Where Flint aims to set itself apart is no-nonsense approach to getting mobile entrepreneurs up and running. There’s no additional hardware needed to get started for one — after a brief setup process merchants can simply scan their customers’ credit cards using the Flint app and the iDevice’s camera. That data is then encrypted and passed along to the backend payment processor (nothing remains on that device), and a quick signature with a finger seals the deal.
Flint also offers more competitive transaction fees than players like Square, especially when debit cards come into play — debit card swipes essentially cost 1.95% while those with credit cards pay 2.95%.
Now that the team is suddenly flush with some extra capital, what’s next? Goldfarb is definitely content to keep the Flint roadmap closely guarded, though he did note that he planned to flesh out the 16-person team considerably and that Flint is working on backend tools focused on driving repeat business and referrals for small business owners. He wouldn’t confirm how many users now tap into the service these days, though he did note that the company has seen “strong engagement” off the 150,000 iOS app installs since launch May 2012 and a 10x surge in transaction volume.