Strikepay acquires rival Gratsi as it looks to expand in Britain

Irish fintech developed contact-free tipping and payment solution during pandemic

Strikepay founders Oli Cavanagh Charles Dowd, along with Jack Spargo, Gratsi founder; and Edel Kinane, chief growth officer, Strikepay. Photograph: Naoise Culhane

Strikepay, a start-up that has developed a contact-free solution for tips and charitable donations, has made its first acquisition, buying up Belfast-based competitor Gratsi for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition is aimed at accelerating Strikepay’s expansion into Britain, where Gratsi is already making inroads.

Founded by Jack Spargo to facilitate contactless gratuity and tipping for workers within the hospitality and food industries, Gratsi was earlier this year selected to participate on the IgniteNI 2021 Propel pre-accelerator programme.

Mr Spargo is to become vice-president of engineering at Strikepay following completion of the deal with Gratsi’s technology to be integrated into the company’s platform.


The brainchild of Oli Cavanagh and Charles Dowd, Strikepay was founded during the coronavirus pandemic. It has come up with patent-pending technology that seeks to resolve problems that have arisen from the demise of cash.

Camile Thai was the first company to go live with Strikepay’s technology to allow customers to tip delivery drivers. It has also secured clients working across a number of other sectors, including transportation, hospitality and retail with some charities also trialling the platform.

Cashless society

“Consumer behaviour has changed dramatically following the shift to a cashless society over the past year. Gratsi were focused on solving the same problems as we were at Strikepay and together we are well positioned to run quickly with our combined solution for both businesses and for consumers,” said Mr Cavanagh, chief executive.

“Our unique proposition will allow us to tap into new opportunities that are opening as a result of the rapid shift to a cash-free world,” he added.

Strikepay's technology allows workers to accept tips with customers simply tapping their phone against a tag worn by the individual, or through scanning a QR code included on their delivery receipt. The payment is made through Apple Pay, Google Pay and digital cards, with the tip credited instantly.

The solution does not require payment terminals or for customers to download a mobile app. In addition to tags that can be worn, the company has also wristbands, fobs and little pucks that can be attached to charity boxes and other objects.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist