Occasionally, we meet founders who don’t pitch an idea, but rather explain an inevitable future. In 2018, we were introduced to Bobby Tzekin who had spent the last 15+ years working in fintech. He shared a few truths: 1) lending was being re-invented using technology; 2) offering financing to consumers at the point of sale increases sales for businesses; 3) in-person businesses, like plumbers and mechanics, which account for the majority of purchases today, were adopting technology platforms that help them run their day-to-day.
Seeing an opportunity at the intersection of these truths, Bobby shared the idea for Wisetack. Wisetack would embed financing options into software platforms that businesses already use in their day-to-day operations to bring “buy now, pay later” to in-person services like plumbing and auto repair. And, even better, the API approach meant Wisetack didn’t have to sign up individual small businesses, as one integration could reach thousands of businesses.
Bobby’s pitch was what I refer to as a “when” idea, not an “if” idea – that is, when the right team decided to approach the problem in this way, their success would be extremely likely. As such, we quickly signed up to lead the seed round when Wisetack was just a slide deck and a team of co-founders.
For the next 6-months, the core Wisetack team worked from the Greylock offices to build the initial product and test fit with businesses. The early response was overwhelming — rather than losing a quote, or dealing with pen + paper bank forms and weeks-long approval processes, these businesses were able to offer quick and easy financing, helping them increase sales. After seeing the consumer and business responses and Wisetack’s methodical execution, we were excited to double down on Wisetack and co-lead the Series A with Matt Harris at BCV.
Today, Wisetack works with software platforms in the residential home and auto spaces including Housecall Pro, Jobber, Quik, InvoiceASAP, and Mobile Tech RX. Through these integrations, thousands of small businesses like Prime Electrical, Beehive Plumbing and On Time Heating & Cooling use Wisetack. And with the average loan amount at around $4,000, consumers are thrilled to have the option to finance everything from a new garage door to a water heater replacement to a new air conditioner.
At Greylock, we are excited by the opportunity to transform the multi-trillion dollar financial services industry with software. At its core, the financial industry is simply infrastructure to exchange resources with unknown people and businesses. Software like Wisetack makes this more seamless, and less “unknown” through data—people and businesses can transact more easily, and everyone benefits. Specifically, when we evaluate fintech companies, we look for 1) real software (more “tech” than “fin”), 2) distribution advantages, and 3) reasonable capital intensity.
Wisetack exceeded this trifecta, and the team has seen incredible traction in the less than 3 years since starting the company. Over the last year, the number of businesses using Wisetack grew 25x, and number of loans issued via the platform grew 20x.
It’s a pleasure to work with domain experts like the Wisetack co-founders Bobby, Liz, and Koyla — a talented group of operators and technologists that are building an inevitable future. If you’re interested in what Wisetack is doing, they are growing their team — you can learn more here.