Cardup nabs $1.7m in seed fund­ing to boost e-pay­ments

Singapore Business Review - - STARTUPS -

Card pay­ments plat­form for cash man­age­ment Cardup se­cured US$1.7M in seed fund­ing led by Se­quoia In­dia and early-stage ven­ture cap­i­tal fund Seed­plus in March. The idea be­hind Cardup is sim­ple: users can pay for nearly ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing staff pay­roll, rent, taxes, and in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums through their credit cards, all whilst re­tain­ing the cor­re­spond­ing card ben­e­fits and re­wards over to the card­hold­ers.

At the core of the busi­ness is em­pow­er­ing in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses by im­prov­ing their cash flow and liq­uid­ity, whilst also widen­ing their ac­cess to fi­nance. Cardup pro­vides and pol­ishes the in­fra­struc­ture for card com­pa­nies and pay­ment net­works to process pay­ments in seg­ments where cards are not ac­cepted and en­ter­tained. The startup’s in­au­gu­ral seed fund­ing, for in­stance, were aimed to grow its pay­ments and cash flow man­age­ment of­fer­ing to the small and medi­um­sized en­ter­prises (SMES) seg­ment.

“Cardup makes the pay­ment of big re­cur­ring ex­penses such as rent, taxes, sup­plier pay­ments, or even pay­roll, a more re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. In­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses can im­prove their cash flow by tap­ping into pre-ap­proved credit lines on their card, whilst banks and pay­ment net­works are able to in­crease over­all credit card spend by cap­tur­ing a new mar­ket seg­ment,” said Nicki Ram­say, Cardup founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer in a state­ment.

Bank­ing on flex­i­bil­ity and ac­ces­si­bil­ity

This flex­i­bil­ity and wider ac­ces­si­bil­ity al­lows con­sumers to max­imise card ben­e­fits in­cluded ex­tended credit terms as well as the earn­ing of re­ward points, whilst busi­nesses can im­prove their cap­i­tal man­age­ment by shift­ing ex­penses to their cor­po­rate credit cards via Cardup for in­ter­est-free credit up to 55 days.

Apart from im­prov­ing cash flow, the startup’s of­fer­ing also eases SMES and other busi­nesses’ tran­si­tion to­wards a dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion of op­er­a­tions. Ac­cord­ing to the startup’s state­ment, over S$55m in pay­ments has been cre­ated on the plat­form in the last 12 months, which rep­re­sents more than 1% of over­all credit card spend growth in Sin­ga­pore from 2016 to 2017.

The com­pany has es­tab­lished part­ner­ships with ma­jor banks and credit card providers in­clud­ing UOB, Citibank, Bank of China, and Master­card, which pro­mote Cardup and its of­fer­ings, and, in turn, cap­ture in­cre­men­tal spend on their cards. Cardup was a fi­nal­ist in The Mone­tary Author­ity of Sin­ga­pore’s Global Hack­cel­er­a­tor 2016.

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