One day, after needing — and not being able to find — four quarters to pay an air machine to fix his flat tire, PayRange founder, Paresh Patel, found himself frustrated by the payment barrier of coin-operated machines. While he could afford the dollar for air, he didn’t have the right payment method to use the service.
A veteran entrepreneur in the automated retail industry, having founded two companies in the vending arena in the past, Paresh knew that installing a credit card reader on an air machine would be cost prohibitive for the operator. In that moment, he had the spark of genius to think, “why connect the machine when the user is already connected?” Paresh’s entrepreneurial spirit took over and a few short weeks later, he was in our office with a mockup in hand and powerpoint ready to share.
Working together, we sought to understand and outline the product, service and problem PayRange would solve. Specifically, the company would develop a small device that would connect to a traditionally coin-operated machine, and also connect to Bluetooth. Users of the machines would download the PayRange app and load funds into their digital PayRange wallet through the app. The app would then communicate with the device leveraging the power of Bluetooth, and be able to digitally send payment to the machines. Mobile payments: made possible.
Starting at square one, we sought to find a name for the company. In describing a person’s proximity to a machine in order to make payment possible, the zone close enough to activate the system was called the “pay range.” And thus, PayRange was born.
We then hit the ground running, front-loading a lot of marketing work before the initial product was production-ready. We developed a brand guideline to support the new name and logo, recorded on-location videos for operators illustrating how to install the device, and designed a basic website.
The next project we undertook was designing a trade show booth for a vending association annual show. This was the unveiling of PayRange to the industry. Rains Birchard designed the booth, helped with trade show logistics and coordination, produced 3D product renderings for booth graphics, and even helped staff the booth as PayRange had no full time employees in that early stage.
As a testament to the innovative nature of the PayRange solution, the first trade show resulted in substantial preorders that fueled the growth of the company. It also provided the market validation necessary for PayRange to secure strategic investments. Launching first into the vending industry, Rains Birchard helped support this growth with advertising, packaging design, sales collateral and more.
As a startup, PayRange has grown rapidly. They’ve invented a new category of mobile payment for machines, and along the way we have enjoyed the challenge of supporting this growth and pioneering with creative marketing. Through expansions into new industry verticals with an expanding product line, to new trade shows, new countries, and more customers, we’ve been privileged to meet the growing needs of PayRange.
The result? Over eight years, PayRange has evolved from an idea in the founder’s mind to being the leader in mobile payments for machines. After successful venture capital funding rounds to becoming self sustaining with a steady foothold in various industries, PayRange now boasts more than 500,000 machines connected to PayRange, and more than 5 million users of the app.