June 24, 2009
Need to Pay for a Service? How About Buying Something to Pay for a Service or Item? TrialPay Allows You to Buy One Item While Paying for Another
What is TrialPay? TrialPay is an interesting service that allows consumers to pay for an item by buying another item. This works by TrialPay working together with some of the largest online merchants, such as Skype, FTD, and others. The way TrialPay works is when you pay for something online, TrialPay will put the your brand before millions of online shoppers every time you make a transaction. This is great for the online merchant, who is just starting out and wants to have his merchandise to sell. By using TrialPay, he can entice online shoppers who are just browsing through their site to get it for free while the online merchant still gets paid.
As you open TrialPay’s website, you will see the face of an online shopper with two thought clouds coming out of her head. One to the left says “I won’t pay,” and the thought cloud on the right side of her head says “I might pay.” You can click on both thought clouds and this can give you a brief overview at TrialPay’s services and how they work. When you hover your mouse over the thought cloud that says “I won’t pay,” some more text will appear telling you more of the service. For example, this bubble is for those shoppers who are known as browsers. A browser is someone who will browse through a particular e-commerce site looking at the merchandise that the e-commerce site has to offer, but all this person does is to browse through the site and usually does not buy anything. This is where TrialPay comes in. For browsers, TrialPay offers the browser to get your product for free, and as that browser gets your product for free, you get paid. You can click on that thought cloud to find out even more about how this works. As you click on that thought cloud, you will get an overview on how this system works. It is really quite amazing what they come up with in the e-commerce industry. When you subscribe to TrialPay as an online merchant, the browser will allow customers to pay for your product through any of their brands and when they buy one of their brands, they get your product for free, since their brand pays for the purchase of your product. That’s how it works. For example, if a particular browser comes to your website is intrigued by what ever product you offer, such as technology, clothing, etc. The browser might not necessarily be interested in technology and is shopping for a gift. Suppose a given browser is looking for a gift for her husband on his birthday or anniversary, whatever. This same browser has either a clothing or shoe fettish. This is where TrialPay comes into play. TrialPay links up with that particular browser’s favorite brands, such as GAP, Nike, or other brand names or something that browser is more likely to buy and when that browser buys the product of her choice and gets your product for free.
The way this works is that the buyer completes an advertising offer to get the product you are selling for free. You will see a notice that your product is free with TrialPay and the browser will see several different offers available upon checking out from your online store. The buyer can choose from any one of these advertising offers and proceed to buy a product that is advertised in that particular offer and gets your product for free. As an online merchant, you are obviously not giving your merchandise away for free, you are in the business for a profit, like any other businessman, so how do you get paid for that product that the buyer just got for free? Simple, once the buyer completes an advertising offer from TrialPay, the customer buys the brand in the advertising offer and TrialPay uses the advertising money to pay you, so everyone wins.
Now, if you go back to the TrialPay Homepage, and hover your mouse on the thought cloud that says “I might pay,” you will also see some text there. Here you will notice that this is aimed towards thinkers. These are the types of online shoppers who frequent your site and are contemplating making a purchase or not. These people need to be enticed to buy your product by offering a deal that they cannot refuse. If you click your mouse on that thought cloud, you will see how this will work. This works by allowing you as an online merchant to have promotions without the expense of free shipping and handling or a buy one or get one free offer. With TrialPay, you can create promotions by enticing buyers to buy a particular brand that is allied with TrialPay. As an online merchant, you can use TrialPay to entice buyers to get a product for free when they buy your product or vice versa. Ether way, TrialPay is a win-win situation for both the online merchant and the buyer.
The story of the founding of TrialPay is quite interesting in itself. TrialPay was founded in Mountain View, California in 2006 and based its business model on the premise that online stores should be able to do everything the conventional retail stores in the shopping malls do, but better. Furthermore, TrialPay can be used by any company, from the Fortune 500 to the regular one-man operation.
TrialPay has three cofounders, who are Alex Rampell, Terry Angelos, and Eddie Lim. These three men also hold key management positions in the company.
Mr. Rampell also serves TrialPay as the company’s CEO and is the man behind the entire corporate infrastructure of TrialPay. Mr. Rampell is also a seasoned entrepreneur, and is also the cofounder of FraudEliminator, which is the first anti-phishing service created. FraudEliminator later merged with SiteAdvisor and then was acquired by McAfee in 2006. Mr. Rampell began his successful career by writing and selling software, some of which later got the attention of some of the US national media, which later led his first company to enjoy global success and his products being featured in some of the most prestigious publications and TV shows, such as Forbes Magazine, USA Today, the Today Show, and others.
Terry Angelos is also on TrialPay’s management team as the company’s CPO and oversees the entire product management of the company. Mr. Angelos has a great deal of experience in product management and has worked with a myriad of early stage e-commerce companies on their product management teams. Mr. Angelos was also the Director of Products of Living.com, which is a large online retailer funded by both Benchmark Capital and Amazon.com. Mr. Angelos was also the product manager of Trilogy Software.
Eddie Lim also works at TrialPay as the company’s CTO. Mr. Lim joined TrialPay and participated in its founding in 2006, after working for Facebook, where he worked in the product design department and helped establish several growth strategies.
TrialPay has also received its share of media attention. CNN has featured TrialPay in a clip regarding five alternatives to Paypal. According to this article, published in February 11, 2008, TrialPay applies an unorthodox method of payment online by getting freebies.
In another article published on February 11, 2008, by the San Francisco Chronicle; TrialPay was featured is offering double savings on Valentine’s day. The article further goes on to discus TrialPay’s revolutionary online payment platform.
TrialPay’s key investors include Baseline Ventures, Battery Ventures, and Index Ventures; which all invested an undisclosed amount to the company in series A funding in 2006.
Baseline Ventures is a vc firm that was founded by angel investor, Ron Conway; who is also affectionately known as the “Godfather of Silicon Valley.” Mr. Conway is a very well known investor in the business community because of his investments in startups in the tech industry since the late 1990s. Some other companies in Baseline’s portfolio include Digg, Kaboodle, Mint Software, Twitter, vSocial, and others.
Battery Ventures is a vc firm that invests in all sectors of the tech industry. Battery Ventures has been a key player in the investor community for over 20 years and invests in companies that have a strong management team and a good position to succeed. Some companies in Battery’s portfolio include Angie’s List, BlueKai, Choice Vendor, InfoSeek, ExactTarget, Spot Runner, and others.
Index Ventures is a vc firm that advertises itself as a vc firm built by its partners “brick by brick,” and are committed to supporting companies that the firm invests in. Index Ventures invests in entrepreneurs who are in the life sciences and tech industries. Some companies in Index’s portfolio include AlertMe, AstleyClarke, FON, Imbera Electronics, Frengo, Glasses Direct, and others.
TrialPay is a rather new company and does not have any noteworthy competitors at this time.
For more information about TrialPay, click here.