Mosea, a Toronto-based payments startup, has raised $2.5 million CAD in seed funding. The startup says it plans to use the funds to fuel its expansion and introduce its social payments app to new users across Canada.
The Granicus Group, a holding company run by the CEO and founder of WatchMojo, led the round. A number of undisclosed angels also participated in the round, which closed in May.
Similar to the American peer-to-peer payments platforms Venmo and Splitwise, Mosea offers an all-in-one payments app that allows for bill-splitting between friends.
Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, WatchMojo’s CEO, told BetaKit: “While there are many established global players in group payments and bill splitting, I liked Mosea’s obsessive focus on social and community. They had also developed a grassroots footprint in universities, which could serve as a springboard to grow from.”
Luke de Haas, CEO and co-founder of Mosea, noted that many companies have tried to tackle the peer-to-peer (p2p) payment space in Canada without success, due to Interac’s dominance. “The Canadian payments market has long been controlled by Interac e-Transfer,” de Haas pointed out. “Mosea intends to dethrone the payment giant, with its user-focused interface and meticulous functionality.”
The startup claims more than 25,000 users across Canada, with a revenue model based on transaction fees from events. Mosea charges zero percent fees for a host to put an event on the platform, and fees on the guest side that it describes as less expensive than those of a competitor.
De Haas said that Mosea approached bill-splitting with a new lens of focusing on user-generated events through the platform to bring on users. The company is focusing on group transactions rather than one-to-one, which Interac focuses on. “We focus heavily on users splitting money for utilities, rent, vacations, groceries, etc.” he said.
Mosea says sending and receiving money is 100 percent free for users, including when splitting money for rent, utilities, groceries, vacations, etc.
“We are implementing the ability to spend money from within the platform, which will generate revenue from interchange from merchants like Visa and other payment processors do,” de Haas said.
“Mosea’s social payment app is designed to encourage interaction between users,” said Mosea co-founder Aidan Tighe.” Unlike other Canadian payment apps, Mosea addresses the challenges of splitting expenses with friends, peers, or housemates.”
Mosea’s growth began on Canadian university campuses among students looking for efficient bill-splitting and expense-sharing with peers. The platform expanded to collaborations with school clubs, groups, and organizations, facilitating payment processing for various events, membership fees, and fundraising events, according to Mosea.
Using Mosea, users can create groups of up to 20 members to track payments, settle up, and split bills. Bill splits within groups can be divided equally amongst all group members, or by specific amounts. Users can pay bill splits with the click of a button, and funds can be sent from a user’s debit card, credit card, or Mosea wallet.
The startup claims it saw widespread adoption of its app in 2022 in the Canadian student market. Mosea is not a bank, but deals with similar regulators such as The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). The startup has partnered with the Royal Bank of Canada and Visa.
Payments platforms such as Venmo,CashApp, and Zelle, have long been popular among American users, according to de Haas.
“Prior to Mosea, there was no way for Canadians to easily share costs on one platform,” added co-founder Colin Lee. “We set out to build a mobile app that facilitates real-time payments with an easy-to-use interface.”
Mosea does not store any financial information. Stripe, Plaid, and Berkeley look after all storage of financial data on behalf of the startup.
Mosea was founded in 2019, but did not launch until one week before the pandemic on March 10, 2020. COVID-19 was a struggle for the company, as people could do many activities, like going to restaurants or travelling, that involve spending money as a group.
Mosea currently has six full-time employees and two contract workers. It plans to hire three software engineers over the next few months, as well as a sales rep.
Feature image courtesy Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay.