Monday, September 26, 2022
No menu items!
HomeCloud ComputingBlack History Month: Celebrating the success of Black founders with Google Cloud:...

Black History Month: Celebrating the success of Black founders with Google Cloud: Paerpay

Editor’s note: February is Black History Month—a time for us to come together to celebrate the diverse set of experiences, perspectives, and identities that make up the Black experience. Over the next few weeks, we will highlight Black-led startups and how they use Google Cloud to grow their businesses. Today’s feature highlights restaurant payments company Paerpay and its founder, Derek E. Canton.

How many times have you used your cell phone and a QR code to pay your restaurant tab in the past two years? Paerpay was conceived around this technology prior to COVID-19, and had already been working with restaurants across the U.S. When the pandemic hit in 2020, our solution was in the right place at the right time.

Paerpay was originally created to help diners pay for their meals more quickly and easily, particularly when splitting the tab amongst a group. Developed as part of the Money 2020hackathon in Las Vegas in 2017, we wanted to improve customer payment experiences by making them as frictionless as possible. We got Paerpay further off the ground by participating inMassChallenge Boston and theDCU FinTech Innovation Center

The pandemic provided an immediate opportunity to further expand our strategy. We got the support we needed to scale quickly as part of the Techstars’ New York City Accelerator in 2021 underJenny Fielding. As longtime Google for Startups partners, Techstars helped us grow our team, connect with Google mentors, and re-architect Paerpay from AWS to run onGoogle Cloud.

Better than cash, pay in a dash

Today, Paerpay offers solutions for paying at the table, takeout order payment, viewing digital menus, creating an order, and card processing. We integrate with restaurants’ existing systems. For guests, we make payment as simple as scanning a QR code or clicking a text message link. Our simple, cloud service-based approach helps restaurants overcome common barriers to new technology adoption, such as downloading an app, setting up an account, or adding new hardware.

We’re built onFirebase, one of the real-time tools from Google that’s key to our user experience. Thanks to Firebase’s real-time client libraries and the Cloud Firestore database, guests sitting around a table can see each other selecting their menu items for payment and settle-up instantly. Users can also customize a tip for the server. It relieves that stress for guests and a time sink for the restaurant, speeding up table turns by an average of 15 minutes. Servers love getting 45% more in tips when guests pay digitally.

Many restaurants, both here in NYC and beyond, are also grappling with staff shortages. With Paerpay, establishments can operate with a more efficient ratio of servers per table, while making it easier for guests to order or add on additional food items or beverages. In fact, restaurants using our digital menus are seeing 20% higher ticket values compared to guests who order and pay more traditionally.

Even better, eateries can monitor these metrics through the Paerpay analytics dashboard. Powered byData Studio andBigQuery, our restaurant customers can tap vast amounts ofFirestore data in near real-time to easily visualize results and make adjustments to their operations on the fly.

A satisfying feast of benefits

It’s gratifying to help restaurants pivot, just as we’ve had to do under changing and challenging market conditions. For one customer, we saved the day when their primary POS system crashed. Since they could keep accepting payments with Paerpay, we saved them thousands of dollars and preserved customer goodwill. We also hear a lot of positive feedback about call-in orders. Those customers appreciate the ability to pay-by-text, a definite improvement to the security concerns and hassle of giving their credit card number over the phone. 

We can keep our platform costs low because of how we re-architected Paerpay. The help we got from the Google Cloud Startup Success Team early in that process has been essential to setting ourselves up for scalability over the years to come. The credits we’ve received as part of the Google for Startups Cloud Program have also helped, on top of the invaluable network of business connections we’ve made with the help of Googlers. 

We launched the platform with Amazon Web Services. Our CTO Benjamin Hass, who began his career with Microsoft and joined Paerpay in 2021, led our transition to Google Cloud. It was a great decision both for our short-term needs and longer-term success. Google Cloud’s simplicity and accessibility combine with powerful, cost-effective capabilities that enable the real-time transactions, authentication, and file storage.

And scalability is essential because we’re growing fast. We processed more than 50,000 transactions in the past year, representing more than $2 million in gross merchandise value. We are on track to process over 1 million transactions in 2022.

Faster service near, far, or by car

Paerpay is currently doing a pilot project with a large, 500+ location fast-food chain to shorten their drive-through car wait times while improving the overall guest experience. Using Paerpay, guests order at the speaker and then scan a QR code next to the speaker to see their order details and pay on their phone. No need to swipe or tap a card at the first window. Guests can simply collect their food and be on their way. It’s exciting to see early results: just two months in, we’re already seeing 5x faster payment speed.

In addition, we’re excited to be working with Acrelec, a global technology company serving top restaurant and retail brands such as McDonald’s, Yum! Brands, Starbucks, and Wal-Mart. We are honored to be among the best-in-class contactless and remote payment solutions they offer their clients. 

Today the platform accepts Google Pay, and Apple Pay, in addition to credit and debit cards. We’re incorporating new technologies like cryptocurrencies so that one integration is all a business needs to accept contactless payments. We’re also looking at more remote payments, whether that’s a few feet away, across a parking lot, or even in the metaverse.

This month we are announcing closing on $3 million in seed funding led by MassMutual through theMM Catalyst Fund (MMCF). They were also joined byElevate Capital,MassVentures,Techstars,The Fund, Gaingels, andChingona Ventures. This funding round brings the company’s total funding to just over $4.2 million.

Recipe for success

Looking back at my journey building a business, I’m fortunate to be in a position to give advice to other founders. I wasn’t groomed to be a founder— I didn’t know what tools and resources were out there. Luckily, I was able to align with people who took the time to invest in me and introduce me to others. Today, those relationships continue to grow with new partnerships and opportunities arising almost every day.

You don’t have to have everything figured out to jump into starting a business. You just need to do it and have conviction in your purpose. For us, the ability to build on a good idea and reach out to the right people at the right time continues to serve up opportunities we couldn’t have initially imagined.

If you want to learn more about how Google Cloud can help your startup, visit our pagehere to get more information about the new Google for Startups Cloud Program and sign up for our communications to get a look at our community activities, digital events, special offers, and more

Related Article

Black History Month: Celebrating the success of Black founders with Google Cloud: DOSS

DOSS, a Digital Real Estate Marketplace, is disrupting the real estate industry with voice search technology and advanced analytics on Go…

Read Article

Cloud BlogRead More

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments