Kansas City based startup Zappn helps merge the real world and the mobile world. One stop third party payment processors like PayPal did not appeal to Zappn cofounder Brock Masterson, so he turned to FeeFighters for other options.
Stella: So tell us about Zappn.
Brock: Over the past 5 years Zappn has evolved a great deal as you can imagine. Looking back I think it was a combination of two things: 1) The fun answer – a dream Chase had in which he could use his iPhone as a window into the events his friends and family were a part of and 2) Unhappiness with the paths, or lack thereof, that were available in our careers. Armed with those 2 things as a catalyst we began meeting over beers a few times a week to discuss our world domination strategy. Back then social start-ups were based around a network, as were we, whereas now we’re striving to be a necessary social utility.
Stella: Did you research how you’d accept payment on the site?
Brock: In years past with Zappn and business consulting it was my experience that developers took the reins with ecommerce. This time around, now that I’m working full time on Zappn, I wanted to get a better understanding of everything that went in to processing money online. Due to all the past experiences our development team had with authorize.net it was recommended that we go that route. With a little doubt and curiosity I started researching other methods to process credit cards. For a number of reasons I had issues with Paypal and Google’s “pro” style check-out systems which were the first options that came up.
Stella: When did FeeFighters come into the mix?
Brock: After a few hours researching I tried again and up popped a blog post detailing FeeFighters and another similar service. At Zappn we typically do at least 10 or more hours of research before entering into a relationship with anybody. FeeFighters hit all the marks: Updated site, positive reviews around the web, available on Twitter and LinkedIn, articles on Tech Crunch and Silicon Prairie News, and best of all FeeFighters is also a proud no-coast tech company.
Stella: That we are. What was it like using the site?
Brock: The FeeFighters process was relatively painless. FeeFighters matches you up with recommended financial groups based on your revenue criteria. The hardest part for me was deciding if we should choose a group based on current criteria or future criteria. Once you make the decision you are asked to upload a few documents for your financial groups. You can then begin talking in length with your representatives at those groups. What I liked most about FeeFighters was not only was I able to see and dissect all our options but I was also confident we got the best terms possible.
Stella: That’s a common question. For new companies, we recommend making the best estimate of where your credit card sales will be 6 months from now. We understand you can’t know, but just try to be as realistic as you can. Did you come across any challenges?
Brock: The biggest challenge for us as an on-the-go tech business was getting through all the old school hard copy signatures and scans. I think in the future FeeFighters will be able to allow customers to sign forms on our mobile devices using a service similar to EchoSign or EasySign
Stella: That sounds like a great idea. Now you guys are from Kansas City. I hear the startup scene is hot there right now…would you agree?
Brock: Kansas City is a very interesting place to start a tech company. When we first got in the game it was a very accepting yet tight knit group of entrepreneurs, bloggers and gurus. Unfortunately with some success and growth the community has segmented a little recently. There is undoubtedly creativity and business grinding going on here with companies like Infegy, Storenvy, and Zaarly making waves. Also, who can forget to mention that we were chosen first to get Google Fiber? I feel our biggest future hurdle will be gaining the ability to develop, launch and scale companies right here at home without the need to reach out to the traditional hot spots for assistance like some of the companies mentioned above had to. Like FeeFighters, Zappn remains steadfast in the belief that we can still conquer the world from the place we call home. With upstart tech companies and world class creative shops Kansas City should be a huge market for FeeFighters in the months to come. I can speak for the entire Zappn crew when I say we would be more than happy to help FeeFighters become an even bigger success here in KC or beyond!