Bill Payment App Papaya Raises $50 Million To Pay Your Parking Ticket

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Bill Payment App Papaya Raises $50 Million To Pay Your Parking Ticket
Photo by Andras Vas on Unsplash

If you’ve ever gotten a parking ticket in Las Vegas, you’ve probably heard of Papaya.

The fintech company based in Los Angeles can be found on every parking ticket in Las Vegas to make it easier for people to pay their fine.


The company has long been in the business of advertising itself with some of the worst financial news a person can get: a parking ticket, an unexpected hospital bill, or a forgotten utilities fee. The goal is to make hard-to-track paper bills easier to pay. On Wednesday, it announced it raised a $50 million Series B round from Bessemer Ventures with additional funds from the likes of Sequoia Capital and Sound Ventures.

“Finances is the number one cause of stress for most families more than anything else. And the second keep being bills, especially paper bills, is a significant component of that stress,” said Josh Mittler Papaya’s head of business operations. “We've seen that massive opportunity to ease financial burdens and create a way for Americans to easily pay bills. It is really what led to the founding.”

The company was founded by Patrick Kann and Jason Metzler in 2016 after Kann moved to the U.S. from Brazil. Brazil’s bill pay system is one online centralized portal, and paper bills came with a scannable barcode that make the process of paying paper and online bills relatively seamless. By comparison, the U.S. has multiple fragmented systems for paying rent, utilities and for health care services that are scattered across online portals and mailing checks.

Through the Papaya app, users can take a picture of their bill and type in the amount they want to pay and fulfill that bill payment as long as the end user has a mailing address or an online payment portal. Papaya doesn’t need to have a partnership or integration with any specific bill, and users don’t need to log in or connect to those bill payment systems.

Using optical character recognition, the software enables the app to look at every bill — no matter what the format is — and recognize each piece of information. You could, theoretically, rip up your bill and rearrange the pieces, and the software would still recognize your name, address and the bill amount.

This gives Papaya the flexibility to pay all kinds of bills for all kinds of companies, no matter what they look like.

“We increase their volume of payments that go through Papaya versus their traditional means of web portals, paper checks or phone calls,” Mittler said. “We help businesses get paid faster and more often.”

Papaya uses user data to create new products. It also reserves the right to share personal information with third party service providers, per its privacy statement.

The raise will go towards expanding Papaya’s 80-person team (particularly in the product and engineering departments) and expanding its partnerships. The company has partnered with large municipalities and health care organizations that will direct people to pay via Papaya on their paper bill statements.

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly stated that Las Vegas tickets include QR codes on their parking tickets. The story has also been updated to add the correct link to its privacy policy and clarify the policy.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Activision Buys Game Studio Proletariat To Expand ‘World of Warcraft’ Staff

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Xbox\u2019s various game developers it now owns: Activision, Blizzard and King.
Courtesy of Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard intends to acquire Proletariat, a Boston-based game studio that developed the wizard-themed battle royale game “Spellbreak.”

Read moreShow less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la

Bling Capital’s Kyle Lui On How Small Funds Can Better Support Young Founders

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
Bling Capital’s Kyle Lui On How Small Funds Can Better Support Young Founders

On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, Bling Capital’s Kyle Lui talks about why he moved earlier stage in his investing and how investors can best support founders.

Lui joined his friend—and first angel investor—Ben Ling as a general partner at Bling Capital, which focuses on pre-seed and seed-stage funding rounds. The desire to work in earlier funding stages alongside someone he knew well drew him away from his role as a partner at multi-billion-dollar venture firm DCM, where he was part of the team that invested in Musical.ly, now known as TikTok.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending