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July 29, 2015

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Ordering your food or beverages by smartphone and then paying for it via an app is quickly becoming the new normal. Starbucks already allows for this across thousands of its stores in the U.S. Meanwhile, Burger King and Firehouse Subs announced integrations with MasterCard’s MasterPass digital payment solution just this week, and Taco Bell’s own mobile ordering solution is powered by Heartland, the companies also this week stated. Now you can add one more to the mix: Subway and PayPal are working together to turn on PayPal’s OneTouch mobile checkout experience in an updated Subway app that work across the chain’s 27,000 U.S. locations by the end of the year.

Subway had actually quietly launched a mobile payment solution in its app last fall, but only began discussing the details more publicly this May as it needed time to train staff and work out the kinks. It still hasn’t made a huge, splashy public debut, however – though that will change later this year as Subway begins to advertise its mobile ordering and payments app for iOS and Android.

The app will allow Subway customers to build their sandwiches using their smartphones, pay ahead of time (or while in line), then pick up their bag and run when they arrive at the store.

The sandwich chain’s mobile apps were previously created by Paydiant, a company PayPal acquired this March for $280 million. A white-label digital wallet maker, Paydiant was best known for being the payments startup behind the mobile wallet from the merchant-owned network MCX, led by Walmart, and whose members included Target, CVS, Rite Aid, Best Buy and others. With MCX, the group of retailers had been developing its own alternative to Apple Pay with CurrentC. In addition, Paydiant had built a number of other large business clients like Harris Teeter, Capital One, and – yes – Subway.

Now that Paydiant is a PayPal company, it’s moving to integrate PayPal’s OneTouch mobile checkout into the Subway application as another checkout option, alongside the app’s support for Apple Pay and Android Pay. The benefit to using PayPal OneTouch is that it works across all apps where PayPal is installed. This means end users only have to sign in one time in a supported app and then can skip logging in to PayPal the next time they check out in that same app or any other one.

For Subway, the company believes that this sort of simplified approach to payments makes sense for its own customer base, which also embraces a “digital lifestyle.”

“The PayPal customer base is very complimentary to the customer base that would frequent Subway restaurants,” explains Ken Moy, Director of Global Payments and Emerging Commerce at Subway. “So bringing together the convenience of what PayPal will enable us to further do with our mobile app is very much in sync with what we’re trying to do – which is make it as simple as possible and as convenient for customers to buy sandwiches from us,” he says.

Moy wouldn’t speak to the traction the mobile payments solution within the current build of the Subway app has seen to date, noting that the company has only recently been making comments on a national level about the newer functionality. However, he did note that the app has already seen “pretty good organic growth.”

“We do see a significant increase of usage as well as significant use by repeat customers,” says Moy. Customers are using both the app and the online ordering function on Subway’s website. “We do anticipate this hockey stick will continue to happen as we put more resources to it, in terms of marketing and advertising,” he notes. Plus, Subway believes that the integration of the PayPal support will increase this usage even further, Moy says.

For PayPal, however, its work with Subway is just the beginning of what the company indicates will be a series of announcements about Paydiant-built apps turning on PayPal’s checkout.

“Subway will be the most prominent initial launch partner for all that,” notes Chris Gardner, co-founder of Paydiant. But while PayPal’s purchase of Paydiant is helping it get a foothold in a number of mobile apps, it will still have to compete with the other forms of payment, including Apple Pay and Android Pay, that the businesses themselves will want to support.

“At the end of the day, many of customers will provide the ability to pay through multiple ways…it’s not either/or – it’s making sure customers can pay they way they want to,” says Gardner.

Subway expects its PayPal-powered app to arrive before the end of the year.

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July 29, 2015
It’s only been a short while since Paydiant joined the PayPal family, but it’s fitting that one of the first combined outcomes of the acquisition is the signing of a merchant that Paydiant has long been working with — Subway. Leveraging our mobile wallet platform, the Paydiant team helped to build the new SUBWAY® App, which was released in early 2015. Today, we are excited to share that PayPal will be integrated as a payment option later this year in more than 27,000 US locations.

Since we joined PayPal, it has been such a fast and seamless transition because of our shared vision: to empower merchants with one of the leading mobile payment technologies and to drive shopper engagement through loyalty, offers and rewards, regardless of which mobile phone or platform people chose to use.

To pay in-store or as part of a mobile order, Subway guests will simply select the “PayPal” option, enabling guests to utilize any smartphone or operating system (Android or iOS) to conduct their transaction. PayPal will also be integrated as a payment choice for online orders on order.subway.com. We’re also enabling PayPal’s One Touch™ checkout experience – the faster, easier way to pay — for eligible consumers checking out online and on mobile. With One Touch, consumers that have opted-in can pay in a single touch without having to type in their PayPal usernames or passwords after initial log-in for 6 months.

Together with PayPal, we look forward to helping many more merchants create their own branded wallets to help accelerate mobile in-store payments and drive sales and customer loyalty.

Chris Gardner, Co-founder of Paydiant

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July 20, 2015

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or “drones,” are capturing the imagination of the general public and businesses alike.  Not only are drones a fun hobby, offering the opportunity to capture pictures and videos from angles never before possible, but drones are being considered for business applications as varied as package delivery, monitoring of equipment and infrastructure, to innovative news reporting.

WiTricity magnetic resonance technology provides an ideal solution for wireless charging of drones, as well as an interesting application for delivery of wireless charging using drones.  Check out this video to see how “wireless power takes flight!”

Click here for the original article.

LocusPlay, a stage 1 ventures portfolio company, was featured in a recent Providence Business News article entitled "Five Questions With: Rahul Rajguru".

The article is a question and answer session with Rahul Rajguru, CEO and founder.

DondeEsta, a Barcelona startup focused on helping parents locate their children, has secured $200K from Stage 1 ventures and will be moving its six-person team to Cambridge early next year.

A recent Boston Business Journal article covered this event and provides additional informaiton about the organization, its members and their offering.

Paydiant, a stage 1 ventures portfolio company, was featured in a recent QSR article entitled "Subway’s mobile payments adoption a ‘market signaling event’".

The article explains how Subway is utilizing padiants wallet technology and the anticipated rapid spread of its use.

Banshee Wines, a stage 1 ventures portfolio company, was featured in a recent Bohemian.com article.

The Banshee Wines article writes about cofounder Noah Dorrance’s path from startup to winery.

Paydiant, a stage 1 ventures portfolio company, announced today hat it has been selected by the SUBWAY® restaurant chain, the world’s largest restaurant brand, to power a variety of mobile wallet capabilities, including mobile payment, in the upcoming release of the chain’s new mobile application. The solution will begin rolling out to stores later this year.

“Paydiant offers the mobile platform that makes the most sense for our franchisees and our customers,” said Carman Wenkoff, Chief Information Officer for the SUBWAY® restaurant chain. “Their mobile capabilities will be a key factor towards providing our customers with innovative services and an exceptional experience.”

Additional information can be found in this Paydiant press release.

Autonet Mobile, a stage 1 ventures portfolio company, was featured in a recent engadget article entitled "Autonet Mobile puts a new twist on the car key".

The article previews Autonets innovative 3G-capable CAN bus module, and how it Autonet Mobiles combined software and cloud services will power automobiles in the near future.

Glanola, a stage 1 ventures portfolio company, was featured in a recent Boston Globe article entitled "Beer line cleaning system hopes to tap into US market".

The article discusses the disappointment customers experienced when craft-brewed drafts are served at establishments with unclean service lines, and how local entrepreneur David Buckley met Glanola inventor Greg Moore and invested in the technology.

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