Paerpay Aims to Make Restaurant Payments as Simple as a Text

The startup’s technology uses QR codes and a text message-driven system for restaurants to receive payment from customers.
Written by Miranda Perez
May 26, 2022Updated: May 31, 2022
Photo: Paperpay
Paerpay executive team from left to right: CTO Ben Hass, CEO Derek Canton and VP of sales Greg Hunter. | Photo: Paerpay

Sure the latest initiatives from the Teslas, Apple and Googles of the industry tend to dominate the tech news space — and with good reason. Still, the tech titans aren’t the only ones bringing innovation to the sector.

In an effort to highlight up-and-coming startups, Built In has launched The Future 5 across 11 major U.S. tech hubs. Each quarter, we will feature five tech startups, nonprofits or entrepreneurs in each of these hubs who just might be working on the next big thing. You can check out last quarter’s Boston round-up here.

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Founded in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Boston-based Paerpay began as a solution CEO and founder Derek Canton thought of as he was calling a restaurant for a takeout order of buffalo chicken pizza, honey BBQ wings and a salad. At the time, Canton was well aware of the fact that 45 percent of credit card fraud happens over the phone. Rather than giving the restaurant his card information, he opted to pay in person. 

Unfortunately, this particular restaurant wouldn’t take my in-person payment because of their new standards of accepting payment to avoid the risk of spreading Covid-19,” Canton told Built In via email. “It was at this moment that I knew I could provide a better and more safe payment experience.”

Paerpay was originally a platform Canton built in 2017 to help users split the bill among each other when dining in person. After his takeout realization and understanding new consumer needs during the pandemic, he transformed Paerpay into a platform that could both accept contactless payments and still serve its original purpose. Unlike other platforms on the market, Paerpay’s technology uses QR codes and a text message-driven system for restaurants to receive payment from customers.

[A] restaurant wouldn’t take my in-person payment because of their new standards of accepting payment to avoid the risk of spreading Covid-19. It was at this moment that I knew I could provide a better and more safe payment experience.”

In March, Paerpay raised a $3 million seed round led by MassMutual, bringing the company’s total raise to date to approximately $4.2 million.

Though the startup is in its early stages of raising capital, “investors are definitely excited about Paerpay’s product offering and even more so our product roadmap and traction,” Canton said. 

Paerpay currently works with Acrelec, a technology company that provides kiosks for big-name restaurant chains such as McDonald’s, Starbucks and Walmart.

Since raising its seed round, Paerpay has hired five full-time employees, taking the startup’s total headcount to nine full-time employees in addition to three contract and part-time employees. By the end of the year, Canton expects to have a total headcount of approximately 20. 

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