Marketing services provider Alliance Data Systems acquired “select technology assets” of Canton-based fintech company Blispay earlier this year, the company confirmed.
Blispay team members also joined the publicly traded company in the deal, said Alliance Data VP of Public Affairs Shelley Whiddon. Further details, including how many team members joined, were not disclosed.
The news was first reported by the Baltimore Business Journal.
The deal was completed in the first quarter, meaning it came several months after Blispay announced a move to “temporarily suspend lending,” citing demand.
As of Nov. 21, 2018, purchases could not be made using a credit card offered by the company that was designed to provide financing for purchases at smaller or midsize retail stores in a manner similar to what’s offered at big box outfits. The announcement was made just as the busy holiday shopping season was beginning.
There was no further public word from the company following founder Greg Lisiewski’s blog post announcing the move, even as the company said it was working to resume lending.
“The assets associated with this transaction will complement [Alliance Data’s] existing private label and co-brand card services business capabilities and offering, as well as further promote the development of emerging payment technologies, Whiddon said in an email.
Blispay team members who joined continue to be based in Baltimore at the company’s offices in Canton’s Natty Boh Tower. Lisiewski told BBJ that the team will become part of Alliance Data’s card services arm, which provides branded credit cards offered by retailers.
“We’re now part of a much larger entity, which is what companies like ours need to grow,” Lisiewski told BBJ, adding that the team members were “excited to stay in Baltimore, and continue to be part of the community.”
Investors backed the company with more than $24 million, and it grabbed attention in Baltimore upon launch. Lisiewski was an early employee of Baltimore’s Bill Me Later, and went on to serve as global head of credit products after eBay/PayPal bought the company for $945 million in 2008. Blispay came out of stealth mode in 2016 with a $12.75 million funding round, and raised another $12 million the following year.
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