As the banking industry is undergoing dramatic changes, and new Fintech and banking startups is providing us with smarter and better solutions every month, three young founders from Barcelona are doing their part by making transactions as easy as it could be.
Verse is a free real time payment app that lets you send and receive money from your friends through the app, no matter the amount, currency or the physical boarders the transaction is supposed to be both as fast as a message and free.
Even though Verse is registered as an american company, it was initially founded in Barcelona in late 2014 by three young Spaniards, Alex Lopera, Borja Rossell and Dario Nieuwenhuis.
“We’re building a global service, we’re launching the app in central Europe this week, and then we’ll launch in the US in April”, co-founder and COO Alex Lopera tells Barcinno.
Started as a Bitcoin ATM
Even though the Verse-founders have found their mission today, the original idea was quite different.
“It all started with a Bitcoin project, where we created a software that made it possible with bitcoin-to-cash withdrawels at regular ATMs all over Europe”, Lopera explains.
After transacting over $2 million in only to months, the founders knew they had made something to build on.
“We applied for an accelerator in San Francisco called Boost VC that specializes on block-chain. The three months we spent in the US really revolutionized how we saw our future with the company“, says COO Lopera.
Their business model is based on charging a small commission on transaction with a currency exchange.
Young, but far from fresh
It’s not only the founders at Verse that’s young (Lopera 23, Rossel 22 and Nieuwenhuis 20) the average age at the company is 22.
The founders have already founded several companies and worked at different startups, and the current Barcelona-team is about to grow bigger when they soon move to the US.
“We want to be closer to our investors in California and New York, they have helped us so much along the way, and we wish to be closer to them going forward”, Lopera explains.
Verse have already raised $1.4 million, and are soon to close an A-round.
They have several well-known names on their investor list includingBernardo Hernandez, Greg Kidd and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, known for early investment in Twitter, Tesla, Skype, Solar City, etc.
They’re facing tough competitors both from regular banks and their services, but also from companies as Venmo, Paypal and other transaction apps. Also Facebook, and Snapchat is making it possible to transfer money through their service.
Verse however, has their edge through their Block-chain system, that makes their software stand out from the rest.
It will be interesting to see how the masses greets Verse the coming weeks with launches both in big European cities and in the US.