Startup Gigs Nov 16 2010

PayNearMe Wants 'Rock Star Engineers' Without the Egos

By john shinal

PayNearMe, a startup seller of electronic payment services, is hiring product development engineers and other technology workers after raising a $16 million funding round.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is looking for "rock star engineers who don't have rock star egos," chief executive Danny Shader said.

The 20-person company doesn't have a target for how many people it wants to hire in the next year, according to Shader.

"We have a tight-knit group of senior engineers; we'll grow as we see fit," he said.

PayNearMe is looking for engineers with two types of experience -- those who can build online payment systems and others who can design Web interfaces for both consumers and the retail companies who provide payment services.

"There's a lot of technology that goes into it, a lot of code," said Shader, who was formerly CEO of mobile email provider Good Technology, which was acquired by Motorola Corp., and of, an online payments system bought by

The engineering team at PayNearMe, which uses a Ruby on Rails development environment, includes Steve Capps, a long-time architect of Apple software and platform applications who holds 60 patents.

Shader said PayNearMe has a very different culture than most Web-based startups.

"We're not viral, we're not groovy," he said. "We're dealing with money. Our motto is: 'We're not dirtballs and we're not flakes.'"

PayNearMe's service allows people who either don't use or can't get credit cards to use cash for making remote payments for things like online purchases and social gaming credits.

For example, an online user of the service can select an item online, print out a PayNearMe receipt voucher, take the receipt and cash to a local 7-Eleven store which then scans the receipt or a PayNearMe loyalty card. The seller then gets an electronic notification of payment and can credit the buyer's account.

The company is providing payment services on Facebook and will have "major partnerships" to announce in the first quarter of next year, according to Shader.

PayNearMe's latest funding round, led by Khosla Ventures, was "significantly up," Shader said.

Write to John Shinal

Press release:

PayNearMe, the cash payment network, today announced that it has closed a $16 million round of financing led by Khosla Ventures. New investor August Capital and current investors True Ventures and Maveron also participated in the round. The company will use the funds to expand its network of retailer payment locations and payees, and to launch new service offerings, including its new mobile payment option, announced separately today.

PayNearMe also announced that payments veteran Mark Britto, CEO of BOKU and former BillMeLater board member, will join the company's board of directors.

"We look to work with great entrepreneurs in big markets undergoing disruptive change," said David Weiden, general partner of Khosla Ventures. "Danny has brought together a terrific team, and we are confident payment services with otherwise un-banked and under-banked consumers will change fundamentally over the next decade."

"We like to invest in companies that solve problems in large, underserved markets," said David Hornik, general partner of August Capital. "By combining the broad appeal of cash with PayNearMe's highly flexible technology platform, the company can serve consumers and payees in almost every industry, including ecommerce, lending and transportation."

"When I realized that PayNearMe could significantly improve consumers' financial lives by offering cash payment services that are better, faster and significantly less expensive than existing alternatives, I wanted to get involved," said Mark Britto, PayNearMe's newest board member. "Plus, I know from my experiences at BOKU, BillMeLater and FirstUSA how valuable a new payment network can be to merchants if, like PayNearMe, it allows them to unlock large segments of new demand."

"Every entrepreneur wants to work with board members and investors who share their passion for breaking the mold and building important businesses," said Danny Shader, CEO of PayNearMe. "With David, David and Mark's support, we will continue to build our suite of convenient, reliable, inexpensive and fraud-free offerings for consumers and payees across the United States."

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