Helping launch a mobile payments company from an idea
through Series A and beyond
PayRange is the leader in mobile payments for machines. They manufacture a family of Bluetooth devices that connect to traditionally coin-operated machines, such as vending, laundry, amusements, parking and more. Then a machine user downloads the PayRange app in order to send payment to the machine.
The problem: The PayRange founder asked “why connect the machine when the user is already connected?” Prior to PayRange, payment other than cash or coin to a machine required an expensive card reader with an active data connection. The founder had a concept of how to overcome this by leveraging Bluetooth and the user’s smart phone, but needed to invent the technology and create a company to bring it to market.
The solution: Working collaboratively, we started at square one. Beginning by helping name PayRange, then creation of brand assets, website, videos, trade show booths and more.
The result: Over the course of six years, PayRange went from an idea in the founder’s mind to the leader in mobile payments for machines, boasting more than 350,000 machines connected and more than 2.2 million users of the app. With successful venture capital funding rounds along the way.
“Rains | Birchard has been a partner since the start. Together we’ve been building the PayRange brand.”
– Paresh Patel, Founder and CEO, PayRange
The founder of PayRange, Paresh Patel, is a veteran of the automated retail industry having previously founded companies on both the customer-side and the technology-side. When he was unsuccessful in finding four quarters to pay an air machine to fill a flat tire, he was frustrated by the payment barrier of machines. He could afford the dollar for air, but didn’t have the correct payment method. Knowing that a credit card reader on an air machine would be cost prohibitive for the operator of the machine, he had the spark of genius to think: “why connect the machine when the user is already connected?” His entreprenueral spirit took over and in a few short weeks he was sitting in the Rains | Birchard offices with a mockup in hand and powerpoint deck ready to share.
We worked collaboratively, starting first with understanding the product, service and problem PayRange solves. But before going to market, we had to come up with a name. PayRange began as VendNext, it was a working title that lasted a few months until describing how the system functioned gave us the name. In describing a person’s proximity to a machine in order to make payment with the app, the zone close enough to activate the system was called the “pay range”, and hence, PayRange was named.
We front-loaded a lot of marketing work before the product was production ready. This included developing a brand guideline to go along with the name and logo, on location videos showing device installation on a vending machine, and a basic website. The first major project we undertook was a trade show booth for a vending association annual show, and this was the unveiling of PayRange to the industry. Rains | Birchard designed the booth, helped with logistics and coordination, produced 3D product renderings for graphics, and even helped staff the booth as PayRange had no full time employees at that early stage.
As a testiment 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, the agency helped support this growth through 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 Rains | Birchard has enjoyed the challenge of supporting this growth and pioneering with creative marketing. Through expansions into new industry verticals and an expanding product line, to new trade shows, new countries, and more customers, we’ve been privileged to expand our creative service offerings to meet the growing needs of PayRange.
The result: Over the course of six years, PayRange has gone from an idea in the founder’s mind to the leader in mobile payments for machines, boasting more than 350,000 machines connected and more than 2.2 million users of the app.