A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week:
What: Billing Revolution, Seattle
Who: Andy Kleitsch, 37, CEO
Mission: Establish a system to handle credit-card transactions via a mobile phone.
Pave the way: The company concentrates on games, graphics, ringtones and other digital impulse buys. It works on commission, with no setup fees required. “A lot of companies want to build a commerce application,” Kleitsch said. “We provide them with a way to reach their customers by building the last mile of the e-commerce road.”
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Cash-free: Each product has its own Web page and credit-card input line. A link is sent to prospective customers, who can complete the transaction wherever they may be. This can be large or small. For instance, a Girl Scout troop can set up a cookie page and send the link to the entire neighborhood. Product fulfillment is still the troop’s responsibility, but it doesn’t have to worry about collecting money.
Business model: Billing Revolution operates exactly like a standard broker, taking a cut of every transaction. It assesses 3.5 percent plus 50 cents each time, or $4 per $100. It also collects the money and passes it on to the credit-card company. Credit-card rates are negotiated individually. The consumer won’t see a difference.
Employees: Seven, including contractors.
Financials: The company expects to generate a greater revenue stream as more products are sold through the channel, because it gets a cut of everything. It has raised less than $1 million, and is now raising more. Profitability is expected by the end of 2009, according to Kleitsch.
Instant gratification: In the future, Billing Revolution could become another payment process, like PayPal, but users would not have to open an account.
Kleitsch hopes it will become the default purchase option for tickets, pizza, dry cleaning and anything else that you need to get right away.
— Charles Bermant