Ansa emerges from stealth with $5.4M in funding to help merchants create virtual wallets for customers
In the US, credit and debit cards make up 57 percent of consumer payments. But the true costs of processing payments to merchants remain hidden from the average consumer. Card fees, particularly for small transactions, can account for more than 12.5 percent of the transaction value.
Sophia Goldberg and JT Cho, the co-founders of Ansa, have experienced the difficulties faced by merchants while working for Adyen and Affirm, respectively. High payment processing costs are a challenge for merchants across various categories, including coffee shops, quick-service restaurants, transportation providers, vertical platforms, marketplaces, and creator platforms that support micro-transactions. That was why the two co-founders decided to launch Ansa aims to address these problems by helping merchants create virtual wallets for customers. Currently, only a few merchants, mainly retail giants like Starbucks, offer this functionality.
Now, Ansa is aiming to level the playing ground by enabling customers to load digital funds that can be used to conveniently pay for goods and services at their favorite businesses via its white-label closed-loop payments platform. By using virtual wallets, customers can earn rewards for their purchases, making the experience both convenient and beneficial.
Ansa just emerged from stealth on Wednesday with $5.4 million in funding led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from Box Group’s Nimi Katragadda, Wischoff Ventures’ Nichole Wischoff, Cambrian Ventures, The Fintech Fund, and Susa Ventures. Over 75 percent of the funding came from female investors and angels.
“Over the last few years, digital wallets have become an increasingly popular payment method. We’ve seen this adoption in other countries such as China through AliPay and WeChat Pay, and expect this trend to continue globally. In the US, Starbucks has been a leader in closed-loop mobile payments with its wallet. Overall payments in the US lag behind the world. We’re on a mission to help merchants embed payments in a way that fits their use cases best,” Goldberg said. Ansa is currently piloting with customers in the coffee and quick-serve industries although their platform can support many verticals.
Ansa’s solution enables merchants to swiftly and legally launch seamless, digitally-native customer balances to boost revenue and reduce payment costs. Customers who maintain a balance with a merchant are likely to make more frequent purchases with larger transaction amounts, and the saved costs can be allocated towards loyalty programs or marketing initiatives to solidify the customer relationship.
“We believe Ansa can do to closed-loop wallets what Marqeta has done for card-issuing, accelerating adoption by lowering the bar and cost to implement. Today it’s too costly and burdensome for most merchants to offer payment systems that give them control and flexibility while lowering cost. Ansa wants to change that,” said Christina Melas-Kyriazi, partner at Bain Capital Ventures. “I met Sophia and JT independently and recommended they become co-founders because they are both deep in payments and uniquely well-suited to solving this problem.”