Investible is proud to introduce tikpay, an Australian startup revolutionising transport ticketing and payments through a single innovative platform.
The transport industry remains highly fragmented globally, with providers operating in silos and relying on closed legacy ticketing systems. There is a growing desire by industry participants to move towards open and commoditised solutions to improve margins for providers.
Enter tikpay, a back-office SaaS platform for transport ticketing and payments that leverages commodity infrastructure and services to fix a range of problems for both transport operators and consumers.
With a deep understanding of the industry, Founder and CEO Michael Walters has set out to improve legacy industry practices through the creation of a customer-centric platform solution that improves interoperability between modes of transport ranging from busses and trains, to ride-share and last-mile options such as bicycles and e-scooters.
We are excited to announce our investment into tikpay’s Pre-Seed round (undisclosed amount) through our Investible Early Stage Fund 2, alongside lead investor Afterwork Ventures, BlackNova VC, Func Ventures and Metagrove Ventures.
The need for a multi-operator back-office solution
Today, the transport ticketing market is characterised by a complex ecosystem of transportation modes, operators, and technologies.
Payments are captured by card-based transport ticketing platforms, which is managed by multiple players in the sector. In some geographic regions, disparate ferry, train and bus networks could mean you need multiple cards in your wallet just to get around, due to the different systems each provider uses. Talk about operational inefficiencies…
tikpay presents an account-based solution with frictionless transport payments. Customer information is stored in the back-office rather than on the card, providing them more flexibility. The platform enables operators to take advantage of this single back-office solution for payments and ticketing and has the capacity to integrate with other operators to create multi-operator products, and apportion revenue between them, and beyond transport alone (e.g. a ticket for the train, and a football game).
The platform removes friction points from transport for customers (encouraging travel), enables more cost-effective products for operators (increasing margins), and reduces boarding times(increasing capacity at peak hours). It is estimated that tikpay can increase travel revenue for operators by up to 20%, whilst saving up to 40% in costs.
There is an ‘unbundling’ opportunity available as several smaller, specialised players have emerged to provide best-in-breed solutions at each stage of the value chain. tikpay has the opportunity to partner alongside these newer players, as well as integrate with legacy stacks to disrupt and innovate the industry.
An unrivalled founder-solution fit
Michael’s 30 years of industry expertise put him in a class of his own in this niche but global sector. Over his storied career, he’s successfully spearheaded several transit ticketing and payments ventures. Most notably, he setup a company in the transport space in the UK which he successfully scaled and exited. He was also an executive of a major travel payments provider, where he was responsible for building and deploying their virtual card product.
tikpay has a developed enterprise sales funnel, which is testament to Michael’s stature in the industry and the problem he is trying to solve. The company is in progressed discussions to enter into pilots with a number of private and public transport operators.
Another key factor we look for in early-stage companies is a founder’s ability to attract and inspire talent to help build its product, and commercialise at scale. tikpay’s executive team also includes experienced product leader Belinda Ralston as Chief Product Officer and veteran engineer Simon O’Connor as CTO.
We are proud to partner with Michael and the growing team as tikpay revolutionises the transport ticketing industry globally. We look forward to supporting their progress and ambitions now and into the future.
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