Blispay closed on $12 million in new funding this week, marking the second spring in a row of a big fundraising announcement for the fintech startup.
With the Series A, the Canton-based startup is looking to expand its sales team and add more merchants to its financing platform, said founder Greg Lisiewski.
The company’s product allows small and medium-sized retailers to offer financing plans for customers’ bigger purchases. It’s a way to help the merchants offer similar solutions to a big box store. Consumers apply online for a Visa card that has no interest on a purchase of $199 for six months. The card provides 2 percent cash back, and can be used anywhere.
Since launching in early 2016, Lisiewski said the company worked to validate its model and grow the number of merchants using the tool. Now more than 500 merchants are using Blispay, and he said there’s been a wide variety of purchases financed — from water heaters to wedding dresses to tattoos.
The company doubled the size of its team over the last year, and now has 27 employees. Lisiewski said hiring is currently focused on sales, and they will add others as needed.
Existing Blispay investors including FirstMark, Accomplice and NEA participated in the round, along with new investors including Inner Harbor-based Camden Partners and F-Prime Capital.
The news isn’t only about the company attracting Baltimore-based investment. The startup is also adding Bill Me Later cofounder Vince Talbert, who is now a partner at Camden Partners, to its board of directors. It brings another key player from the eBay-acquired company back together at Blispay. Lisiewski was a former executive at both Bill Me Later and PayPal, and members of the team also worked at the fintech giant.
With that well-established network, the founder of the Natty Boh Tower–headquartered company is well aware of how Baltimore figures into the company’s trajectory.
“For me, it is not only important to build a company in Baltimore, but the more involvement we can have in the ecosystem, the better,” he said.
Lisiewski wants the company to be a Baltimore story. Given how we often hear about that ecosystem needs members of successful startups to go on and start new ones, it seems like one the community will want to tell.
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