Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
We last reported on Openbucks last September, a company that’s setting out to give 97M Americans without credit cards another option to pay for goods online.
Today, the company has announced a $4.8 Million Series A funding round, led by Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, with participation from Terry Semel, Greycroft Partners, BV Capital, Clearstone Ventures, Morado Ventures, Novel TMT Ventures, Inspiration Ventures, CrunchFund, SV Angel and TiE Angels.
Just to recap, The Openbucks Gift Card Payment Network lets consumers without a bank account or credit facility (or those who simply prefer to keep their financial information private) enjoy the benefits of e-commerce using the gift cards of major retailers. The regular gift cards of Subway, CVS Pharmacy, Burger King, Shell, Circle-K and CITGO are also now accepted through the Openbucks Network as a form of payment at thousands of online checkouts.
Openbucks says the investment will support its strategic growth plans, including the continued development of its acceptance network. Interestingly, a big target demographic here is teenagers, who don’t have ready access to online payment facilities.
“The Openbucks Gift Card Payment Network taps into a whole new market of consumers that either by choice or due to limited resources may not have been able to previously buy goods online,” says Jerry Yang. “Openbucks stands at the forefront of the future of online payments as it provides a simple solution to the twenty-five percent of US households and most US teens who have no or very limited access to credit cards along with the many consumers that are leery of providing their financial information online.”
You can see our interview with Openbucks CEO Marc Rochman from last year here.
Consumers can obtain a gift card from one of its partner brands at more than 100,000 locations across the US. “We are excited to have the support of a well-connected and relevant group of investors composed of successful entrepreneurs, industry leaders and prominent VC funds,” says Rochman.
Feature Image Credit: Molly DG | Flickr
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