Droplet, a Birmingham-based start-up, is in the process of securing £3 million in funding as it starts the rollout of an ambitious plan to expand from mobile payments into related services, founder Steffan Aquarone (pictured) has told Mobile World Live.
The firm would not reveal the identity of its new backers but their support looks set to give Droplet’s funding a dramatic boost.
To date, the firm has been backed by £100,000 invested by angel funds in October 2012. The sum was also supported by £50,000 from its founders over course of 2011 and 2012.
The firm, which was set up in November 2011, enables consumers to make payments at the point-of-sale or send money to friends or businesses.
However, it does not ask consumers to link debit or credit cards to Droplet. Instead it gets them to pay cash into a pre-paid account from which they can make payments to merchants.
Aquarone says this is a more cost-effective approach in terms of processing fees.
Also, it helps the company’s longer term plan to offer other services. “We don’t want to be a payments firm, we want to offer people other alternatives of what they can do with their money.” added Aquarone.
Bill payments and loans are two possibilities, he says, to leverage the fund held in users’ accounts.
Although Droplet charges no fee to either consumer or merchant for its service, it makes money by offering additional, paid-for tools to merchants. This platform will be open to outside developers to sell their apps too.
“Are we doing anything revolutionary? I am not sure we are. Maybe we are just combining existing things in an unusual way,” said Aquarone.
This month Droplet will launch with its two most high-profile customers to date, Chiltern Railways and Airparks.