Strike aims to raise €6.5m to go big with contactless payments

Irish fintech has developed contact-free technology for tips and charitable donations

Strike co-founders Oli Cavanagh and Charles Dowd

Strike co-founders Oli Cavanagh and Charles Dowd

 

Strike, a start-up that has developed a contact-free solution for tips and charitable donations, has raised €625,000 and intends to seek a further €6.5 million in investment before the end of 2021.

The company is planning to raise €1.5 million in the summer as part of an interim Series A round and secure an additional €5 million later in the year as it looks to expand quickly into other markets.

Strike, the brainchild of Oli Cavanagh and Charles Dowd, went live with food delivery chain Camile Thai as its first partner earlier this week. It is in talks with businesses across a range of sectors that are interested in rolling out the technology.

Strike has come up with patent-pending technology that seeks to resolve issues that have arisen from the demise of cash, such as the inability to tip workers or make donations to charities.

“There are about 60 million people in English-speaking countries alone who rely on tips and who are hurting right not because they aren’t getting much in the way of them due to Covid,” he said.

“Delivery drivers who have been using Strike on a trial basis have been doubling their tips, which is an even better result than we expected,” Mr Cavanagh added.

Strike is aiming to take away the friction that is often association with making contactless payments by making it as simple as possible to do. The solution does not require payment terminals or for customers to download a mobile app. In addition to tags that can be worn by individuals, Strike also has wristbands, fobs and little pucks that can be attached to charity boxes and other objects.

Avoiding dilution

The company was founded last year during the Covid crisis. Mr Cavanagh, who previously co-founded peer-to-peer lending platform Flender, said some of the funding it has already received came from Enterprise Ireland, which he said took just eight days to approve its application.

“We went out to raise €300,000 but stopped at €625,000 just to avoid further dilution,” he said. “We’ve already got six names committed for our next round, though, and a number of others who have expressed an interested in participating.”

In addition to talking with individual businesses that wish to roll out the technology, Strike is also in discussions with a leading near-field communication (NFC) tag manufacturer, and a company interested in white-labelling the technology to distribute to thousands of its delivery drivers across Europe.

“We’re in a position where we could easily ship out 50 million Strike tags in a week that could be working as payment terminals within a day. No one else is in a position to scale something as easily as this, which is why we have sought patent protection globally for the technology,” said Mr Cavanagh.

“We haven’t even tried to expand outside of Ireland as yet but two of our clients are already making us do it because they want to roll it out so we’ll be in North America and Britain shortly without having spent a penny on marketing or making any hires there.”