Lost trying to find a payment processor

I'm a bit lost trying to set up a payment system.

What I'm doing:

  • Selling monthly subscriptions to a paid community on Slack

What I want to do

  • Just embed a payment form and/or link to a payment page.

Why I'm lost

  • I was using Stripe, but requires me to code something into my application, which I don't understand at all. I just want to embed a payment form on a WordPress website.

Options I'm considering:

  • PayPal. Meh, I haven't had a good experience with them.
  • Gumroad. Seems intriguing and they have subscription options. This is my top choice for now.
  • Any other suggestions?

Thanks!

submitted by /u/abillionpleasesir
[link] [comments]
Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Ok am trying to get an app made… how avoid scams?

Am already targeting the niche with other services and products. I have around 16k subscribers. my products are seasonal fan based. so fans keep coming back/ purchasing when there is something new.

Now with covid I realized an app could serve my teen clients (the majority of my clients).

I know exactly what I want but I never done an app before. I publish it on upwork , got so far 35 proposals. however, when I ask for their samples the apps have maybe 9 downloads only, or seem abandoned with reviews from 2, 3 years ago. in other words all the apps everyone show me seem not completed or never got any traction. However they upwork profiles have record of 100k or millions of dollars made in projects.

So this has me confused. am not sure if they made a good app for their clients but the clients failed in the marketing or those great upwork profiles are faking all those income some how.

How can they make so much money and show me some crappy apps?

submitted by /u/Starlyns
[link] [comments]
Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

CEO trying to get money out of me

Hi,

I founded a startup around 6 months ago with some individuals from India. Over those six months we registered our company as a legal entity in India (LLP) and along with this, we were told each that our details have been forwarded for 'Registation' by the CEO so that we can get equal equity.

This was 2 months ago. Every time I've asked for an update, or mention that it's been a while, I get shot down by the CEO who keeps saying that because of COVID-19, there are 'delays'. To me this sounds like an excuse.

Throughout the six months I was investing in my slice of monthly expenses until 2-3 months ago. What happened was that the CEO purchased some services such as Instagram Ads which me and one other co-founder was not made aware of. I brought this up to the CEO who lost his cool, saying that I should not be questioning these purchases since they did not fall under my supervision and that as a co-founder I must pay for it, since, according to him, I am a co-founder. However these words are meaningless if I do not hold equity, and there are clear operational issues here as they're trying to force money out of me for purchases I have had no say in.

Furthermore, when we first launched, the CEO, who apparently started the legal process of creating a LLP told me that because I am from the UK, I will need to register as a co-founder a couple months later as it will add complexities to the amount of money that we can initially invest. He told me that his lawyer showed him the 'relevant law'.

Smelling bullshit, I asked him multiple times to show me the legislation so that I can try and sort things out from my side, or that I can understand the situation more. It has been 5 months and he keeps shooting my request down, recently telling me that "It's not a big deal". I feel like he lied simply because he wants more equity for himself. This was made apparent later, when he said that he's forwarded our details for registration. So suddenly this is no longer an issue.

Fast track to today, we have more expenses coming up. I still have no proof of equity after 6 months of operation, and 2 co-founders have just left for personal reasons. I will be quitting in the next couple weeks. Nobody has seen a shred of evidence that they have equity.

Now those co-founders (and I) are being asked to pay for the purchases (total cost / 6 founders), which is around £150 each, even though we are quitting, and have never had equity.

I feel like the CEO has simply delayed in registering co-founder details for equity since it has been months, and in addition there is no legally binding agreement between us. It appears that he has been delaying to get free work out of the other co-founders and I, and to get our money.

I have been paying for the monthly purchases in the past as I gave him the benefit of the doubt. However I have seen no progress in getting equity for months and it looks like we'll never get it.

We now have our monthly expenses come up. He is trying to get the 'cofounders' who are leaving to pay up, and in addition to this, he said he will be 'releasing' their equity so that there is more for the rest of us. Now I don't know too much about Indian LLP Law, but I'm pretty sure that equity cannot be released by any other co-founders. So what hes actually saying that equity has not been locked in yet.

I understand that in reality that equity was never there.

Should I pay my part of the expenses? I am thinking about refusing because:

A) I have never seen a shred of proof regarding equity

B) Some purchases were made without my knowledge

C) I will be quitting in the next 2 weeks (university starting)

Some advice would be really appreciated. Thanks.

submitted by /u/pac3d
[link] [comments]
Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Is there a name for this strategy of business where you’re always trying to be bought out?

Like creating a product that does the same thing a large competitor does but a little better or differently, not enough for everyone to switch but enough to cause the competitor problems. The goal from the start being to cause enough of a problem to the bigger guy that they buy you out, then taking your money and starting a new business in a different niche and doing the same, rinse and repeat.

Is there a name for this? Is anyone successful doing this serially?

submitted by /u/secret90g3
[link] [comments]
Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

An unsurprising wave of video-focused startups is trying to make video calls better

As Zoom and Microsoft and Google hammer it out for video-chat hegemony, startups are developing apps and services that either add on or compete with the major players.

There hasn’t been enough activity — yet — to call it a boom, but there’s enough going on to warrant our attention. Call it a boomlet, if you will, of startups looking to ride the wave of demand that video-conferencing has seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. You can read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or receive it for free in your inbox. Sign up for The Exchange newsletter, which drops Saturdays starting July 25.


The big players are not sitting still. Zoom has spent lots of 2020 on platform security after a surge in popularity exposed some frayed ends. Google has been working to make Meet, its own video-chat service, better and easier to find. And Microsoft has been hammering Teams’s abilities into stronger form as it uses the same product to fend off both Slack and Zoom, which is a tall order.

Other giants are getting into the mix. Reliance Jio, the Indian telecom subsidiary of megacorp Reliance, recently launched JioMeet, which has turned heads for looking rather similar to Zoom. It also quickly raced to millions of downloads. (That Google just put billions into JioMeet’s parent is an odd twist in the video-chatting wars; Google has effectively helped fund a competitor in the country, it appears.)

TechCrunch’s parent company, Verizon, recently bought BlueJeans, giving the American telecom company its own video chatting service. (It’s also eyeing the Indian market.)

But that’s only part of the action. More recently we’ve seen interesting rounds for video-chat software startups Macro and Mmhmm. And we’ve seen money go into companies like Daily.co, which want to let any company bake video-chatting capabilities into their service. And Y Combinator-backed Sidekick has been in the press lately, after building a hardware solution in mind for today’s remote workers who need video comms.

An upstart boomlet, then, amid a war of the majors. But should we have expected anything less from the huge wave of demand that COVID-19 kicked off? Zoom was growing quickly before the pandemic. Now the public company and a host of rivals, big and small, all want a larger slice of an expanding pie.

Video-conferencing startups

The two most interesting recent venture rounds for video-conferencing startups are those belonging to Mmhmm and Macro.

Startups – TechCrunch

How this European startup is trying to make buying cars online as easy as smartphones?

In today’s world, a car is an important mode of transport, especially in post-COVID era where people are advised to use personal transport instead of hopping on public transport for the daily commute. This is where used car startup Cazoo based in the UK has come up with a solution. It promotes car buying confidence and is all set to disrupt the used car market.

Cazoo is now a unicorn!

As Cazoo has made buying cars online hassle-free and convenient, it has transformed the way users buy used cars. And, as a result, this fast-growing digital business has joined the list of unicorns within a short time span. Cazoo becomes the fastest British business to have reached the coveted and rare unicorn status.

Alex Chesterman OBE, Founder & CEO of Cazoo said, “We have an amazing team who are dedicated to reinventing the used car buying experience by providing the best selection, value, quality, and convenience for UK car buyers. Despite the current challenges many businesses are facing, Britain remains a market leader for talent and innovation and a great place to start a business.”

How does Cazoo work?

Cazoo aims to transform the way people buy used cars by providing them better selection, convenience, value, and quality. It intends to make car buying as simple as buying any other product online. Once you make a buying decision, you can get the car delivered to your doorstep in as quickly as 72 hours.

You can search for the right car and complete the purchase right from the comfort of your home and a convenient way. The marketplace assures that you get your hands on high-quality used cars as all the vehicles that it lists are fully reconditioned.

Additional add-ons for your benefit

Besides delivering high-quality cars, all the cars that are listed on Cazoo are priced competitively and transparently. There isn’t any hidden cost or fees, touts the unicorn. It offers the best price for the car upfront thereby helping you save money. Also, Cazoo provides free home delivery by one of its qualified delivery specialists. In addition to high-quality used cars at competitive price points, you will also get a free 90-day warranty along with RAC roadside assistance, a 7-day Money Back Guarantee, and a 7-day free driveaway insurance.

The UK-based used car marketplace lists hundreds of models from numerous makes that are available at any time. Each car that they sell are touted to be checked thoroughly checked and subjected to a recent service. Furthermore, this marketplace lists the number of previous owners and doesn’t sell cars with insurance issues or outstanding finance.

Picture credits: Cazoo

Who’s behind Cazoo?

Cazoo is the brainchild of Alex Cheterman, who also founded Zoopla in 2018. He is one of the leading digital entrepreneurs in the UK. In 2003, he co-founded LoveFilm, which brought a transformation in the DVD rental market in the UK. Later, in 2008, he came up with Zoopla, which brought transparency and efficiency in the proptech market.

Later, Darren Bentley from MoneySuperMarket joined the company as the Chief Customer Officer to make Cazoo a household name in the UK. The other notable names behind the success of this UK-based user car marketplace are Paul Whitehead (Chief Commercial Officer) who was with ZPG Plc as the Chief Strategy Officer. Next in the list is Piers Stobbs, the Chief Data Officer, who joined Cazoo from MoneySuperMarket. Then, there is Ned Staple, the General Counsel again from ZPG Plc.

Recently, the company roped in Fern Wake (Chief of Operations), who was the Chief Operating Officer at Farmdrop. And, Stephen Morana (Chief Financial Officer) joined Cazoo. The company has a great team of over 300 staff who are passionate about delivering great customer experiences.

Paul Whitehead, Chief Commercial Officer of Cazoo said: “We are delighted to welcome Fern to the Cazoo team. Her extensive operations and logistics experience will add real value to the team and ensure we deliver on our promise to make buying a used car no different than buying any other product online today and that our customers love the process of buying a used car as much as they love the car itself.”

Secures €28M in latest round

In a recent move, Cazoo bagged £25 million (nearly €28 million) funding led by new investor Draper Esprit along with existing investors DMG Ventures and General Catalyst. With this investment, the total funding raised by the company goes to €245 million, which positions it among the best-funded UK tech companies ever.

Recently, the company announced that it would be the new shirt sponsor of Premier League football Club, Everton from the start of next season. This marketing campaign is touted to accelerate the shift of online car buying in the UK.

COVID-19 spiked Cazoo’s growth?

While the COVID-19 outbreak has left a dent on many businesses, Cazoo seems to have witnessed unexpected growth during the crisis. Over the past few weeks, the company has witnessed record sales levels although the number of cars sold during the lockdown remains unknown. As people prefer commuting in their own vehicle as the lockdown is easing out, it works out for those who want used cars. Also, it lets them avoid public or shared transportation so that they are not exposed to the virus.

Moreover, Cazoo takes special safety measures for customers. The company’s website notes that all the cars they sell are thoroughly sanitised and the handovers are made at a safe distance to adhere to the new normal. Given that people avoid going out unnecessarily, the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have made things it rosier for the online used car marketplace.

What do you think about the online used car marketplace? Does this idea interest you? Do share your thoughts with us.

Main image picture credits: Cazoo

The post How this European startup is trying to make buying cars online as easy as smartphones? appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

How this European startup is trying to make buying cars online as easy as smartphones?

In today’s world, a car is an important mode of transport, especially in post-COVID era where people are advised to use personal transport instead of hopping on public transport for the daily commute. This is where used car startup Cazoo based in the UK has come up with a solution. It promotes car buying confidence and is all set to disrupt the used car market.

Cazoo is now a unicorn!

As Cazoo has made buying cars online hassle-free and convenient, it has transformed the way users buy used cars. And, as a result, this fast-growing digital business has joined the list of unicorns within a short time span. Cazoo becomes the fastest British business to have reached the coveted and rare unicorn status.

Alex Chesterman OBE, Founder & CEO of Cazoo said, “We have an amazing team who are dedicated to reinventing the used car buying experience by providing the best selection, value, quality, and convenience for UK car buyers. Despite the current challenges many businesses are facing, Britain remains a market leader for talent and innovation and a great place to start a business.”

How does Cazoo work?

Cazoo aims to transform the way people buy used cars by providing them better selection, convenience, value, and quality. It intends to make car buying as simple as buying any other product online. Once you make a buying decision, you can get the car delivered to your doorstep in as quickly as 72 hours.

You can search for the right car and complete the purchase right from the comfort of your home and a convenient way. The marketplace assures that you get your hands on high-quality used cars as all the vehicles that it lists are fully reconditioned.

Additional add-ons for your benefit

Besides delivering high-quality cars, all the cars that are listed on Cazoo are priced competitively and transparently. There isn’t any hidden cost or fees, touts the unicorn. It offers the best price for the car upfront thereby helping you save money. Also, Cazoo provides free home delivery by one of its qualified delivery specialists. In addition to high-quality used cars at competitive price points, you will also get a free 90-day warranty along with RAC roadside assistance, a 7-day Money Back Guarantee, and a 7-day free driveaway insurance.

The UK-based used car marketplace lists hundreds of models from numerous makes that are available at any time. Each car that they sell are touted to be checked thoroughly checked and subjected to a recent service. Furthermore, this marketplace lists the number of previous owners and doesn’t sell cars with insurance issues or outstanding finance.

Picture credits: Cazoo

Who’s behind Cazoo?

Cazoo is the brainchild of Alex Cheterman, who also founded Zoopla in 2018. He is one of the leading digital entrepreneurs in the UK. In 2003, he co-founded LoveFilm, which brought a transformation in the DVD rental market in the UK. Later, in 2008, he came up with Zoopla, which brought transparency and efficiency in the proptech market.

Later, Darren Bentley from MoneySuperMarket joined the company as the Chief Customer Officer to make Cazoo a household name in the UK. The other notable names behind the success of this UK-based user car marketplace are Paul Whitehead (Chief Commercial Officer) who was with ZPG Plc as the Chief Strategy Officer. Next in the list is Piers Stobbs, the Chief Data Officer, who joined Cazoo from MoneySuperMarket. Then, there is Ned Staple, the General Counsel again from ZPG Plc.

Recently, the company roped in Fern Wake (Chief of Operations), who was the Chief Operating Officer at Farmdrop. And, Stephen Morana (Chief Financial Officer) joined Cazoo. The company has a great team of over 300 staff who are passionate about delivering great customer experiences.

Paul Whitehead, Chief Commercial Officer of Cazoo said: “We are delighted to welcome Fern to the Cazoo team. Her extensive operations and logistics experience will add real value to the team and ensure we deliver on our promise to make buying a used car no different than buying any other product online today and that our customers love the process of buying a used car as much as they love the car itself.”

Secures €245M in latest round

In a recent move, Cazoo bagged £25 million (nearly €27.6 million) funding led by new investor Draper Esprit along with existing investors DMG Ventures and General Catalyst. With this investment, the total funding raised by the company goes to €245 million, which positions it among the best-funded UK tech companies ever.

Recently, the company announced that it would be the new shirt sponsor of Premier League football Club, Everton from the start of next season. This marketing campaign is touted to accelerate the shift of online car buying in the UK.

COVID-19 spiked Cazoo’s growth?

While the COVID-19 outbreak has left a dent on many businesses, Cazoo seems to have witnessed unexpected growth during the crisis. Over the past few weeks, the company has witnessed record sales levels although the number of cars sold during the lockdown remains unknown. As people prefer commuting in their own vehicle as the lockdown is easing out, it works out for those who want used cars. Also, it lets them avoid public or shared transportation so that they are not exposed to the virus.

Moreover, Cazoo takes special safety measures for customers. The company’s website notes that all the cars they sell are thoroughly sanitised and the handovers are made at a safe distance to adhere to the new normal. Given that people avoid going out unnecessarily, the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have made things it rosier for the online used car marketplace.

What do you think about the online used car marketplace? Does this idea interest you? Do share your thoughts with us.

Main image picture credits: Cazoo

The post How this European startup is trying to make buying cars online as easy as smartphones? appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals

Rewarding civic pride and boosting the local economy? Akron, Ohio is trying out a startup for that

Akron, Ohio, the hometown of LeBron James; the seat of the U.S. tire industry; the 127 largest city in the U.S.; and the home of America’s first toy company, is now the latest site of a global experiment in whether cities can use behavioral economics to help foster good citizenship.

Thanks to the work of the city’s deputy mayor for integrated development, James Hardy, Akron is the first city to roll out services from an Israeli-based company called Colu. A startup backed by just over $ 20 million in financing from American and Israeli investors, the company has developed an app-based rewards service that cities can roll out to provide perks to users.

In Akron’s case, the initiative rewards points for shopping at local businesses that can be redeemed for discounts at those stores. The initial effort, which includes a platform for businesses to market directly to the app’s users, focuses on businesses owned by women and minorities (a response to the movement for racial justice that has sprung up in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis).

Akron is the first city of what Colu founder Amos Meiri expects to be a nationwide rollout throughout the U.S. The company already has managed to ink another agreement with the city of Chula Vista, Calif.

Colu, which has raised its capital from investors associated with blockchain technologies like Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group; the Boston-based venture capital firm, Spark Capital; New York’s Box Group and the Israeli corporate conglomerate, IDB Group, has deep ties to the cryptocurrency world of alternative financial instruments through Meiri.

One of the original architects of the Ethereum protocol, Meiri’s work with Colu is in some ways an extension of that effort to create new kinds of economies powered by alternative financial mechanisms.

Meiri said cities typically pay for Colu out of their marketing budgets as a new way to communicate and attempt to influence civic behavior.

For Akron’s government officials, the company’s services are a way to boost locally owned businesses that have been hit hard by the state’s attempts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Our locally owned small businesses are facing enormous challenges and we need out-of-the-box ideas that safely connect them to consumers and turn local spending into a source of pride for residents,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan, in a statement. “Our partnership with Colu will enable the city to reward customers for shopping local, improving revenues for our small businesses while helping folks stretch their dollars.”

Earlier work with the municipal government in Tel Aviv promoted sustainable business practice and encouraged businesses to do more to manage their waste and carbon footprint by introducing a “green label.” Businesses that followed the city’s guidelines were given the label and shoppers were encouraged to frequent those merchants.

Colu envisions itself as more than just a marketing and rewards platform for businesses. The company hopes it can draw users into a kind of social networking platform for civic engagement where users can share their own stories about city-life and their interactions with local business owners and the community.

In some ways, it’s a kinder, gentler version of China’s social credit scoring system, which is also designed to influence civic behavior. In this formulation, there’s a rewards system, but no mechanisms to punish citizens for bad behavior.

“Akron has a long history of innovation within our economy — this initiative draws on that legacy,” said Deputy Mayor Hardy, in a statement. “By putting the future of Akron’s locally owned small businesses in the palm of our citizens’ hands, we hope to make it easy for consumers to keep their money local and continue to strengthen our incredible community.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Trying not to get screwed on an advisory agreement

First time poster, thanks in advance. Appreciate your wisdom.

Me: I am a business owner who is in serious discussions to join a local startup on a part-time (20h/wk) basis. I am looking to join for equity only, as I make enough with my main line of work. My thought currently is to negotiate a 3 month contract first, and if we like each other, work to extend for 2 years. I would focus on biz dev, relationship management, and product management and would likely not be devving.

The Startup: Startup is B2B, pre-seed with a working MVP and has pilot clients who are converting to paid accounts, but the company is still pre-revenue. 3 founders; 1 full-time and 2 part-time. I have the most domain experience and software/product experience amongst the team by a significant margin, but the team certainly has other strengths (fundraising, ops, initial vision, dev/devops chops). Development initially started 2 years ago, but efforts have ramped up recently and contract developers added to supplement the dev effort. A seed round should be closed in the next several weeks.

Question 1: When it comes to negotiating a % of shares for compensation, let's say for that initial 3 month advisory agreement at 20h/week (that's where the 8 comes from in the formula below – 3mo x 1/2 time = 1/8 of a full-time year), here is my initial thought – please validate or poke holes in it and tell me how you would approach the risk premium variable.

(([Annualized total comp equivalent]/8) / [Pre-money valuation]) * [A risk multiplier for me taking only equity, future dilution] * 100

Question 2: What considerations must be accounted for to make sure this isn't a case of employee misclassification since I'd be working under an equity-only advisory agreement?

Question 3: I understand that RSUs are what I would want vs options, options would be a non-starter, and no cliffs are appropriate here – I should receive my grants weekly or monthly. Are there any other considerations I should account for?

submitted by /u/SweetLou33
[link] [comments]
Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Tulsa is trying to build a startup ecosystem from scratch

When you think about startup hubs, Tulsa, Oklahoma is probably not the first city that comes to mind.

A coalition of business, education, government and philanthropists are working to foster a startup ecosystem in a city that’s better known for its aerospace and energy companies. These community leaders recognized that raising the standard of living for a wide cross-section of citizens required a new generation of companies and jobs — which takes commitment from a broad set of interested parties.

In Tulsa, that effort began with George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF), a philanthropic organization, and ended with the creation of Tulsa Innovation Labs (TIL), a partnership between GKFF, Israeli cybersecurity venture capitalists Team8 and several area colleges and local government.

Why Tulsa?

Tulsa is a city of more than 650,000 people, with a median household income of $ 53,902 and a median house price of $ 150,500. Glassdoor reports that the average salary for a software engineer in Tulsa is $ 66,629; in San Francisco, the median home price is over $ 1.1 million, household income comes in at $ 112,376 and Glassdoor’s average software engineer salary is $ 115,822.

Home to several universities and a slew of cultural attractions, the city has a lot to offer. To sweeten the deal, GKFF spun up “Tulsa Remote,” an initiative that offers $ 10,000 to remote workers who will relocate and make the city their home base. The goal: draw in new, high-tech workers who will help build a more vibrant economy.

Tulsa is the second-largest city in the state of Oklahoma and 47th-most populous city in the United States. Photo Credit: DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

Local colleges are educating the next generation of workers; Tulsa Innovation Labs is working with the University of Tulsa in partnership with Team8 through the university’s Cyber Fellows program. There are also ongoing discussions with Oklahoma State University-Tulsa and the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa about building a similar relationship.

These constituencies are trying to grow a startup ecosystem from the ground up. It takes a sense of cooperation and hard work and it will probably take some luck, but they are starting with $ 50 million, announced just this week from GKFF, for startup investments through TIL.

Startups – TechCrunch