News

Why we started Wisetack

Bobby Tzekin

February 23, 2021
4
min read

The origins of Wisetack started nearly three years ago. Actually, it started long before that.

I began my fintech career in payments at PayPal over 15 years ago (fintech wasn’t even a term then!). And after I moved to lending in 2013 to lead product at Lending Club, I became deeply aware of two things. One was the enormous positive impact we could have on people: Lending Club helped millions of Americans improve their lives by reducing the cost of credit and increasing access to it.  The second realization was that many of the technology and risk innovations I was used to in payments applied directly to how a lending platform could run. It became clear that there was so much more to accomplish via technology in lending.

Particularly in the last few years, a number of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) companies have become mainstream brands in the US. Focusing mainly on e-commerce, they’ve helped online businesses grow and offer consumers a way to pay over time without having to borrow the most common yet expensive way: on credit cards.

Yet existing BNPL companies don’t cover all businesses and consumers. Despite the growth in e-commerce, it is still a minority of spending. Many important purchases and essential services can’t happen online. Plumbing repair, electrical work or car maintenance (to name a few) are provided by small businesses in person. These small businesses have been largely unable to use the innovations in lending that benefit e-commerce retailers.

However, software is, indeed, eating the world and in the past decade, these small service-based businesses have widely started to adopt modern software solutions that make their businesses easier to operate by providing them easy ways to manage their customers, schedule jobs, and take payments.

We saw that these software platforms were the final piece of the puzzle needed to bring seamless lending to in-person purchases. By embedding a consumer lending experience into the software that service-based businesses already use, we could reach millions of in-person businesses and offer them and their customers a great user experience and access to better financing options.

So in late 2018 a small group of us came together to build a technology business that empowers people and small businesses with better financial products.  We were all payments, lending, and technology experts who’d worked together previously. In 2019, we raised a total of $19 million from Greylock Partners, Bain Capital Ventures, and other leading investors. Later that year, we launched a product that instantly resonated with customers. Our product prioritized seamless integrations via APIs, and quick and easy approvals for businesses and consumers alike.

Two years later, we have a group of fantastic partners, such as Housecall Pro, Mobile Tech RX, InvoiceASAP, Quik., and, most recently, Jobber. We also have thousands of happy customers -- both consumers and businesses. So why are we just now coming out of our shell? It was important for us to be able to show -- not just tell -- what Wisetack has been up to. It’s been enormously rewarding to hear the reactions of the businesses we work with:

“Wisetack has helped us generate more revenue, and get new customers.”
- Shane H. of On Time Heating & Cooling, in Hartland, WI

and consumers who we’ve helped

“Our power is back on! Thank you so much for caring about your clients. I'm so happy to say that even though this was not the best of circumstances to have met Paul [the electrician] or to obtain a loan with your company, you both made it a pleasant one! Kudos to you and your team.”
- Linda G., customer of Apex Power & Light in Los Gatos, CA

And we’re just getting started. As much as we love being a lean and scrappy team (in late 2019 we processed our first, fully automated, loan with a team of <10 people), we’re looking to grow and take Wisetack to the next level. If you’re interested in joining us, read about our Values. And if these resonate, check out our open roles: https://wisetack.com/careers and stay in touch by following Wisetack on LinkedIn

We’re grateful for the support from our investors and partners thus far and can’t wait to continue on the journey with them. In 2021, we’ll be focused on helping more small businesses and consumers via customer-friendly financial products.