For the past several months, Tim McDougall and I have been heavily involved in pursing interests in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids entrepreneurial and start-up community that align with the core values of Fusionfarm.
Our fundamental purpose at Fusionfarm is to further develop non-news related revenue sources at a local media company by solving problems for local businesses. (You can read more about that here.) Within that, we want to be a partner, for example, to start-up businesses doing great things in our community where both entities can bring value to the relationship.
One such company is Koala Pay. You’d have to ask them why they settled on that name, but it’s cool, catchy and the logo looks good on a T-shirt.
From Koala: “Koala Pay is a new mobile payment platform that enables merchants to build a more loyal and engaged customer base. Merchants can use Koala Pay to create and distribute deals on their own terms while avoiding credit and debit card processing fees.”
Fusionfarm began working with Koala Pay a few months ago. And, just recently, the company put the hammer down to help prove its concept.
The Koala Pay concept is not only interesting, but it’s proving to be a very fast moving and growing market of mobile payments. The spin the founders at Koala Pay put on it goes like this: They not only have a service that can facilitate a payment for a good or service between you and your favorite participating merchant, but they give that merchant some simple tools to help drive loyalty for customers.
Using things such as mobile coupons, gift cards and loyalty programs, Koala Pay looks to make smartphones replace all those punch cards and fake credit cards that make your wallet look like something George Costanza would lug around.
We think they are on to something, so we decided to see if we could help. Fusionfarm signed on as the first “sales agent” for Koala Pay. We promote their offering by signing up merchants on a commission basis. We think that if we can prove out this model, it will give Koala Pay a solid distribution and expansion strategy.
Our media sales teams have relationships which will allow the quick set up of meetings to introduce the concept and get things moving. Our ability to use a variety of marketing vehicles in Eastern Iowa can help drive awareness and the critical mass of users needed to make the whole thing go. We are in “pre-sale” mode now securing anchor merchants. Once we have that complete, we will launch a full marketing campaign for them.
Our Fusionfarm team has pitched in and developed some solid creative work for them too. It’s easy to forget that all the point-of sale-stuff is just as important in promoting your ideas as anything else. I really like what our team has done on that front.
Now we will see if we can help the folks at Koala Pay get this thing off the ground and bring “wallet relief” to everyone, everywhere!