How often do you think about how your payment gets processed online? Obviously you care about the item you are buying, but how often do you think about what happens behind the scenes from a technological point of view to make that transaction happen?
If you’re in FinTech, that’s one thing, but if you’re a business owner, one could argue that you shouldn’t need to devote too much brain power to how payments get processed. Ideally, the process should be easy, global, and standardized.
As many business owners can attest to, that’s often not the case. There are multiple ways to conduct a transaction, barriers that challenge international business, and sometimes vastly different needs depending on the size and scale of a company.
BlueSnap knows this, and according to CEO Ralph Dangelmaier, their payment solution is answering the needs of business owners everywhere.
BlueSnap was established in Israel in 2001, as a payment platform that could help Israeli merchants sell goods online. The team wanted to build a global online payment service that could accept credit cards, and as a result, they wanted to expand to an international market. As Dangelmaier put it, “You don’t open a business in New Jersey just to sell it in New Jersey.”
Private equity firm Great Hill Partners discovered the company and in 2011, they acquired it with the intention of bringing the technology to the United States. They viewed it as an opportunity to help the company expand the business and execute on significant growth plans. As part of their acquisition, Great Hill decided to move the BlueSnap offices to Waltham, and hire a new executive team.
That team ended up consisting of Dangelmaier and some team members from his other FinTech company, P&H Solutions. Back in 1997, P&H built the first online business banking system which was acquired by ACI Worldwide.
Dangelmaier’s plan was to use BlueSnap’s online payment technology to focus on an underserved sector: the SMB market.
“Startups were getting attention from PayPal, and the larger companies were getting attention from the bigger payment players like Chase, but middle market companies were underserved.”
In 2014, Parthenon Capital Partners, another private equity firm, invested $50M in funding alongside Great Hill in order to accelerate product development.
Since then, BlueSnap has built a modern day payments processing platform for eCommerce transactions, international payments, recurring billing, fraud prevention, and a host of other features.
The team’s focus was to build a product that has the same breadth of functionality as its competitors (like Stripe, Braintree, and PayPal), but with a less painful experience in terms of the onboarding process. Other online payment solutions are heavily geared towards the developer crowd, and there’s limited support. BlueSnap, on the other hand, offers customer consultation to help make sure the customer is getting what they need.
“We’ve built this really cool piece of technology that we’re calling the all-in-one payment solution, and it’s the only payment solution you’ll ever need.”
By all-in-one, Dangelmaier refers to the fact that BlueSnap can accept payments through multiple methods such as online checkout, invoicing, subscriptions, virtual terminal, and through marketplaces like eBay, where a merchant may sell to many people.
“Most merchants actually sell and receive payments in multiple ways. Believe it or not, most payment providers are setup to handle one of those channels. We handle all five on the same platform for merchants.”
There are additional complexities on the global scale.
“Merchants sometimes connect to a different payment provider depending on the country or integration method. It becomes a factorial problem for the merchant, and we were designed to solve that problem.”
Compared to its competitors, Dangelmaier points out that BlueSnap is more equipped for payments around the world due to its heritage of solving the international payment challenge in the early days of the company.
Today, BlueSnap employs approximately 120 people, and is growing “well over” 100% year-over-year. Some of their customers include Autodesk, Bullhorn, Fleetmatics, Web.com, and Continuum. BlueSnap has expanded their global presence; they have an office in London, employees working in California, and still keep most of their R&D and data centers in Israel. “We didn’t lose our Israeli roots,” Dangelmaier said.
Looking forward, Dangelmaier says one of the company’s next moves is to focus on hiring sales and marketing talent.
The biggest challenge for BlueSnap will be competing in a market where there are a growing number of companies at all levels - large financial companies and upstarts who are getting a lot of publicity. BlueSnap has the right foundation as a business and platform to help companies stay current as online shopping continues to gobble up market share. Competition exists in all industries, but there will be likely multiple winners in this category based on the sheer size of the market. Boston has a growing number of FinTech companies, but we haven’t seen many breakout companies at scale. Hopefully, BlueSnap will be the exception.
Images courtesy of BlueSnap.
Alexander Culafi is a contributor at VentureFizz. You can follow him on Twitter @culafia.