Melbourne-based fintech Tikpay has raised $1.6 million in a pre-seed round as the startup looks to revolutionise ticket sales and management for the public transport sector.
Tikpay, founded and led by serial fintech entrepreneur Michael Walters, is an account-based ticketing and payments platform that the company says will benefit both the traveller and transport operators.
Walters says his vision with Tikpay is to ‘build the leading orchestrator of transport ticketing and payments globally’ with the system said to offer transport operators significant savings compared to the current systems they are using while supporting greener, more efficient ways of travelling.
“Transport ticketing is ancient, full of friction and old technology that discourages travellers and hinders the ability of operators to do much about it,” says Walters, who launched Tikpay earlier this year.
“Tikpay started with a clean sheet of paper, designing a ticketing and payments platform that will improve the experience for travellers and operators alike.”
The entrepreneur, who founded Littlepay, an open-loop payment gateway deployed by UK transport operators in 2017, describes legacy ticketing systems as being weighed down by ‘outdated technology, proprietary hardware, and limited payment options’.
Existing systems are seen as inflexible, making it a ‘formidable challenge for transport operators to meet evolving traveller demands and embrace digital technologies’.
“Our solution empowers travellers to seamlessly navigate various transport modes and networks, removing friction and making transport simple,” Walters says.
Through Tikpay, travellers have the flexibility to use multiple fare payment channels, including credit and debit cards, digital wallets and QR codes, when tapping on and off public transport.
The system also allows the user to set up multiple funding sources, to join family, employer and other groups, to register for concessions, to store multiple ticketing products, and to view their travel history across a wide range of transport modes, all in the one system.
Tikpay’s cloud-based solution receives and manages information about customers and their travel in a back-office account rather than on a physical card.
The $1.6 million seed round by Tikpay was led by AfterWork Ventures and Black Nova VC, with backing from Investible, Func Ventures and Metagrove Ventures.
Tikpay says the fresh capital raised will support the launch of the company’s product to the market.
"Tikpay is building a truly modern ticketing and payment solution that will empower travellers to pay for and use transport however, whenever, and wherever they choose - all while reducing ticketing costs for operators by 40 per cent or more," says Alex Khor, co-founder of AfterWork Ventures.
Walters has enlisted experienced SaaS (software-as-a-service) product developer Belinda Ralston as Tikpay’s chief product officer, and veteran engineer Simon O’Connor as chief technical officer.
"In the realm of early-stage investment, a founding team that blends deep sector experience with robust commercial and product acumen is a diamond in the rough,” says Jayden Basha, principal for Investible.
“Michael, Belinda, and the growing team behind Tikpay are poised to capture this compelling, underserved market in Australia and beyond."
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