US mobile app Mezu fires up with privacy promise
Ohio-based mobile payments firm Mezu has launched with the offer of giving and receiving money without sharing personal information.
The firm explains its privacy rationale: “If you’ve ever been stuck without cash, you know the feeling. You want to tip your bartender or valet, give a little something extra to the hair stylist or buy concert tickets. You don’t know them well, so you don’t want to use a peer-to-peer payment app where you have to share your personal information – phone number, email, username.”
Mezu wants to address “two gaps” in the mobile payment space: How do you pay someone you do not know when you don’t have cash? And how do you protect your privacy and financial activity in our overexposed, over-hacked social age?
The app does this by generating a unique, one-time encrypted code that allows anyone to exchange money without sharing any personal information.
“Too many companies are still playing fast and loose with people’s personal data – nowhere is this more serious than with our financial information,” says CEO and co-founder Yuval Brisker.
The start-up offers a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insured account for every user through its banking partner, MainStreet Bank.
The app is now available on iOS and Android in the US.
Mezu recently closed a $10 million Series A round led by Draper Triangle Ventures with JumpStart, Draper Associates, the Ohio Innovation Fund, North Coast Angel Fund and private investors.
The company was founded by Brisker and Pedro Silva, technologists and serial entrepreneurs. Brisker was previously co-founder and CEO of TOA Technologies, which was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2014, in “one of the largest venture capital-backed exits in Ohio’s history”.
Silva also worked at TOA as a senior director, senior manager and solution architect.