A Montreal-based company that has worked hand in glove with Apple may be set to benefit from the Cupertino-based tech giant’s big mobile payments play.
Just a week after Apple debuted its new iPhone 6 with Apple Pay, a mobile payment offering that will use Near Field Communications, LightSpeed today announced it had secured $35-million Series B with iNovia Capital and Accel Partners. The cash brings the total the company has raised to $65-million, having done a $30-million round two years ago with Accel.
Any questions as to what LightSpeed might use all that money for were, at least in part, answered swiftly. Concurrent with the Series B announcement, the company announced a new offering called LightSpeed Payments, a partnership with Element Payment Services that will obviate the need for a third party when accepting payments, and will support Apple Pay.
The dream of running an entire business from an iPad is the vision that LightSpeed looks to enable. There’s no doubt that the combination of payment processing and point of sale technology will make tantalizing appetizer for those retailers looking to graduate from legacy systems, and it may act as an entree into LightSpeed’s larger platform.
While previous mobile transaction platforms from Google, Square and PayPal have failed to take a meaningful share of the overall transactions market, it should be noted that tablets were considered a graveyard of a business until Apple transformed the space with the iPad. The company’s reach, combined with its partnerships with the likes of MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, mean this latest attempt to win the space is the best chance.
LightSpeed’s connection to Apple is a part of its DNA. In an interview with Cantech Letter’s Terry Dawes earlier this summer, Dasilva said the company’s resurgence was a key factor in LightSpeed’s development.
“…essentially, people were rediscovering Apple,” said Dasilva of 2005. “And what was happening was that people were opening boutiques and stores, and they already loved their MacBooks and their iPods and they felt so in control of those devices that people were starting to ask the question, “Can I run my business on a Mac? Can I take control of my own small business?” And that was what rocketed us, with 1,900% growth over five years, it started on that base platform of the Mac, multi-store and multi-user for Mac. So more serious retail. But then on the Mac platform, we were the first to add mobile and worked pretty closely with Apple to make sure that the mobile solution we had in their stores was available to all SME retailers via LightSpeed. And then we brought out an iPad version in 2011. So that was very closely tracked to Apple’s growth curve.”
Chris Arsenault, Managing Partner at iNovia says LightSpeed is up to the task of helping to migrate the masses of small and medium sized businesses to next-gen solutions.
“LightSpeed is deeply ingrained in the challenges and needs of today’s retailer,” he says. “They’ve figured out how to make big-box retail tools easy and accessible to independent retailers to help them thrive in a highly competitive market.”