Toronto’s Strypebox Wants to Make Sending Money as Easy as Texting

Sanjee Sathasivam had the idea for his startup after a cottage weekend with friends. When it was time for everyone to settle up, “it was such a hassle,” he says.

That’s where Strypebox comes in. Sathasivam’s product is an add-on for online payment solution Stripe that’s intended to let individuals pay each other.

“It’s a simple as sending a text,” he says.

Strypebox isn’t looking to take on the whole market, though.

“We know there’s a lot of payment providers out there,” Sathasivam says. That’s why it’s focused on a niche, things like group events and sports pools.

While Stypebox provides the interface, the actual money transfer is handled by Stripe, making security less an issue for Sathasivam and his team.

“It’s safe but it’s more flexible than PayPal,” Sathasivam says of Stripe.

There two ways to pay with Strypebox, Sathasivam says. Users can collect directly, from people who enter their phone number of email address into a “box” on the Strypebox site, or they can create a public link. “You can share that anywhere,” Sathasivam says. “People click on that to pay.” He says the public “box” can be used to collect money for events or fundraisers.

Stypebox is also working on a solution where users can embed a box on their site, which he says could be used by small businesses to collect for deliveries and pre-paid pickups.

While Stypebox does generate revenue on every transaction, 15 cents, it’s not enough to make the company profitable.

“The fees are so high that we can’t afford to charge more,” says Sathasivam.

Instead, he’s looking to build the user base. He says Stripe will lower the fees Stypebox passes on if the company gets enough users and “costs will go down with scale.”

The company is also looking at rolling out more value-added services. But it’s still early days.

“We haven’t gone out to advertise publicly,” Sathasivam says. Right now, there are a “few hundred people trying it out.”

“We’re still developing it,” he says. Sathasivam, who’s working on Strypebox as part of a team of six people, says he’s looking to have development on the basic Stypebox finished before the end of June, with a marketing campaign coming at the end of the month or the beginning of July.