Tapingo is a fast-growth mobile ordering service for food pickup and delivery. Download their app and give up waiting in line at Starbucks. Your latte will come to you. Tapingo is in more than 46 markets and operates on over 120 college campuses. As Tapingo grew and more entities were added to the billing roster, Tapingo CTO, Udi Oster began looking at methods of payment that would more efficiently and accurately handle payments. Payment with manually written checks would have slowed growth and hindered scalability.
The Solution: Move to the Bill.com API and a cloud-based accounting system
Today, every shop and every courier is paid with Bill.com. Growth is rapid and Udi is planning for even bigger things.
Hyper-growth is common among sharing economy companies that use Bill.com to create some of the world’s most efficient payment systems. Udi is in a great position to build a system that realizes Tapingo’s vision of transforming the delivery service industry by sharing the role of courier. Fueled by $36 million in venture funding from Qualcomm, DCM Ventures, Kinzon Capital, Khosla Ventures, and others, Tapingo has figured out how to make a profit by delivering food and is scaling this model to everyday things you buy.
“Daniel [Tapingo CEO] and I wanted to build something that would improve the buying process,” said Udi. “We weren’t focused on the big problems of life, rather, we felt that the quality of life could be improved by eliminating the time and frustration spent on many small things throughout the day. It turned out that the largest area that people wasted time on was in buying things.”
Udi came from a computer science background and has experience as a data analyst. Tapingo has always focused on evolving consumer needs, and has developed a service that gets you what you want, where, when and how you want it. According to Udi, “Tapingo” started to be used as a verb throughout college campuses to describe the method of getting what you want efficiently.
“Our success is due to the strong relationship we maintain with our target demographic,” said Udi. “This is different from normal store to door services in a city. Our customers live in densely populated areas where consumers are shopping for similar items. By applying algorithms to find commonalities, our processes add value by streamlining operations and improving efficiency. For instance, we can stack up orders and have one person deliver six lattes instead of one.”
Using Bill.com to Save a “Tremendous” Amount of Time
Tapingo uses both the Bill.com Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable (AR) features. Although the actual time savings is hard to quantify, Udi knows that Bill.com has saved Tapingo a “tremendous amount of time.” He explained, “we’re using the API to automatically process payments and using algorithms to automatically detect fraud and unusual payment behaviors. I can’t imagine doing this manually at the volume we have.”
Tapingo also benefits from Bill.com’s ability to send paper checks. They use the API to process a high volume of checks at low cost in markets where ePayments are not yet widely used. Bill.com acts as a bridge between the new accounting technology and old ways of paper payment.
“In San Francisco and Silicon Valley, you might think that everyone uses ePayments,” said Udi. “However, that’s not the case for the majority of consumers in the U.S. The reality is that several venues still use paper checks.”
As part of Udi’s mission to continually improve efficiency, Tapingo also uses the Bill.com API for approvals in addition to AP and AR.
Building Success with the Bill.com API
Udi was able to use the Bill.com API to build one of the most efficient payment and approvals systems in the courier industry. The merchants that partner with Tapingo are seeing the benefits of this efficiency. On average, Tapingo partners show a 17% increase in sales, an annual cost saving of $40,000 per merchant, and a 99.7% rate of repeat usage by customers. With the Bill.com API, Udi spends less time being buried by the problems of scale and more time on building increased functionality for growth in new markets.