Promise closes $20m Series A to support its goal of updating government payment systems

Payment technology developer Promise has scored more than $20m in its Series A round which will help its goal of bringing update government payment systems.

The lead investors for the round were Kapor Capital and XYZ, with other commitments coming from Bronze, First Round, Y Combinator and others.

Founded in 2017, the company improves payment velocity and volume through adjustable payment dates, manageable and interest-free payment plans, customer reminders, and convenient and non-traditional payment options.

Promise founder and CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins said, “Right now, in America, it is easier to buy a state-of-the-art exercise bike than to keep your water on.

“The last year really showcased the depth of inequality Americans in underserved communities face. While we’re seeing private companies create interest-free, no-money-down solutions for customers, people struggling with government payments are not offered the same flexibility. Millions of people can’t pay their bills and Promise is partnering with the public sector to improve the system.”

Promise claims the Covid-19 pandemic increased payment-related hardships for both agencies and customers.

The FinTech teamed up with the Louisville Water company to help create solutions for more than 5,000 past due accounts and distribute over $4m in Covid-related assistance. During its first week, the claims more than 4,000 residents received over $1.5m in assistance, 15 times more than any other local utility was able to manually distribute in the same timeframe.

Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District executive director Tony Parrott said, “During the pandemic, we have seen more and more of our customers struggling to pay their water bills. Now more than ever we need an easy way to get our customers into payment plans. Promise provides a seamless solution that gets more of our customers enrolled and brings revenue into our utility.”

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