Santander backs mobile payments start-up MyCheck

Mobile payments start-up, MyCheck, secures $5 million in Series B funding led by Santander.

MyCheck, the mobile payments service, completed its second round of funding, resulting in $5 million of investment for the start-up.

Experts are paying particular attention to the new leading contributor, Santander.

Funding from the Spanish bank came through the $100 million Santander Innoventures Fund, which aims to fund early-stage fintech start-ups with investments ranging from $100,000 to $10 million.

In addition to a capital injection, the fund also has advantages such as “expertise and scale” and a network of more than 100 million retail and commercial customers across Europe and the Americas, which MyCheck is looking to utilise.

Focus on fintech

“We approached Santander’s Innoventures Fund after the fund was announced last year,” said Shlomit Kugler, chief executive officer of MyCheck.

“The fund’s focus on fintech, particularly mobile payments, made it attractive to us,” he added.

After contacting the Santander Innoventures Fund, Mr Kugler spoke with managing director Mariano Belinky in September, which put them on the road to where they are today, with an extra $5 million of funding.

MyCheck was launched as a consumer app back in 2011 but has since changed its strategy to adopt more of a B2B platform, enabling mobile payments and loyalty cards for the hospitality industry in general - including big restaurant chains such as Prezzo and Busaba.

“The dining payment experience has not changed or improved since credit cards were introduced, while the needs and desires of the customers and merchants have changed dramatically,” said Kugler.

“Customers are looking for an 'Uber-like experience' – to use their smartphone to receive great offers, be able to pay and leave at will whilst leaving their wallet at home.”

Funding for marketing and hiring senior staff

The app has already developed a presence in markets across the UK, US, Israel and Brazil, but will look to accelerate its growth more aggressively with the additional funding, particularly across Western Europe and the US.

Some of the new capital will also go towards marketing the app and hiring additional senior business development staff in key growth markets.

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