How they describe themselves: Walt Mossberg (Wall Street Journal) described CircleUp’s products as “truly useful” and TheNextWeb called SmartPay a “game changer.” With SmartPay, CircleUp is at the nexus of the last frontier in the shift to collecting money electronically: casual group expenses. The company estimates this to be a large, untapped $40B+ market. SmartPay provides an easy, secure and integrated way for groups and teams to collect money by email. CircleUp distributes its services via integrations with large membership sites like Active Networks and Blackbaud, bringing SmartPay to their to millions of members in sports, education, faith and non-profit segments.
What they think makes them better: For SmartPay, the biggest “competition” is the old way of doing things: the soccer mom running around a field harassing parents and asking them to stuff money into a white envelope or to “send a check in the mail.” Stand-alone money transfer services like PayPal are OK for basic 1-to-1 payments. However, they do NOT work well for groups or teams, especially when those groups and teams also need to communicate and collect information. In addition, unlike other payment or messaging services, SmartPay is fully integrated with the sites that groups use every day, providing shared email address books and accessibility across multiple networks including Facebook, AOL, AIM, Yahoo! IM, Active/eteamz or Blackbaud Sphere.