Russian venture fund Life.SREDA announces that they have invested an undisclosed amount in Ukrainian mobile-payment platform Settle, with plans to eventually back the Kiev-based service with $1.5 million in exchange for equity.
A few weeks ago, we looked at loyalty program Advice Wallet, a Ukrainian-created startup that rewards users with discounts for repeat business. Now, two of that company’s co-founders, Stas Matvienko and Anna Polischuk, prepare to enter the mobile-payment business.
Settle, which is due to launch in early August, wants to allow users to pay bills straight from their smartphones. The company says that they are eventually aiming to allow customers to submit orders, transfer money to friends, split bills, etc. The service will be free to users, but restaurants would pay a commission on every transaction completed. Advice Wallet partners with more than 400 restaurants, so users can likely expect to access both services in the same locations.
For the clients, Settle intends to provide tablets to monitor the activity of users and handle the billing process. They will also use iBeacons to offer personalized discounts to repeat customers.
A representative from the service tells me that, although they will initially concentrate on the Ukrainian market, they are already thinking about expansion to Russia and western Europe, with Poland first on the list. Should they move westward, they will enter into competition with services like Spleat, Flypay, MyCheck and more. They are focused on restaurants to start, but the representative says that they ultimately believe that it has potential for a range of businesses, including gas stations, retailers, taxi services, and others.