Portfolio January 31, 2012

Announcing our investment in TrialPay

Improving the consumer, advertiser & merchant experience


We are thrilled to announce our investment in TrialPay today, alongside T. Rowe Price, Visa, and DAG.

TrialPay’s CEO, Alex Rampell, is a world-class entrepreneur.  He’s been a software entrepreneur even before graduating from Harvard — and also an advisor, investor and board member at world class software companies.  We’re really excited to be working with Alex and the great team he’s built at TrialPay.

Alex has been a thought leader in online-to-offline commerce – he coined the phrase with this post in 2010  – and the evolving payments space.  We agree that there are massive opportunities for the consumer internet (including mobile and data) to transform offline commerce.  Retail is being revolutionized.  In terms we over-use in the valley, we are heading into retail 2.0.  Most importantly Alex has proven himself to be a world class operator building a substantial business at TrialPay.

TrialPay provides a transactional advertising platform. This enables merchants to generate offers for consumers during the checkout process, for example, to get a better deal on a purchase they were in process of making. While a seemingly simple idea, because it is executed well, it has the potential to markedly improve the experience for consumers, advertisers, and both online and offline merchants.  For consumers, they can receive significant discounts (and sometimes even free products) for things they were already going to purchase.  For example, as you are checking out at Fandango, you may receive an offer for a free ticket to the movie you are purchasing if you sign up for Netflix.  For global advertisers, they have the opportunity to acquire customers that have proven intent (going thru a check out process) and significant information about their interests.  For online and traditional retailers, with the addition of Visa to the platform, TrialPay can now help their merchant customers not only track online effectiveness, but can also see if they are driving traffic to stores.  It becomes an opportunity by which everyone wins: the consumer gets advantaged purchasing, the merchant makes a sale, and the advertiser engages a new customer.

TrialPay’s progress points to the power of its model. Over 150 million online shoppers have been exposed to great offers since its launch in 2008.  Transaction volume increased 7x in 2011 while traffic to the platform increased 4x.  TrialPay’s platform now reaches over 70 million monthly active users.  Online and offline global advertisers believe in the vision, as TrialPay counts facebook, the Gap, Fandango, and Trend Micro among its customers.

TrialPay’s transactional advertising platform boosts revenue and converts more customers for online merchants by placing targeted promotions around transactions.  We anticipate seeing a significant new payment category through transactional advertising.

Congratulations to the team and we look forward to working with them as they pursue their very compelling vision.

“It becomes an opportunity by which everyone wins: the consumer gets advantaged purchasing, the merchant makes a sale, and the advertiser engages a new customer.”