You don’t see many companies squaring off to take on Amazon these days, but Bolt has been cooly assuming the position.
The “Amazon-like payments stack for everyone else” first launched on Product Hunt three years ago, after working for almost three years in stealth. Despite entering a very crowded space, it differed from products like Stripe Checkout.
“That's more of a lightweight way of collecting a credit card vs. this which is a robust enterprise-ready platform. Tax/shipping/discounts/platform-integrations… While also built to be super developer-friendly, this is built for retailers / e-comm companies first and foremost,” founder Ryan Breslow wrote back then (to its credit, Stripe has expanded since then).
Then earlier this year, it dropped Bolt One Click, a one-click checkout experience for shoppers, across anywhere where Bolt is used. Shoppers can save their passwords, personal information, and card details and check out instantly if using Bolt — even if they’ve never been to the shop before.
“Bolt One Click gives independent retailers a fighting chance... by enabling them to provide a return-like experience to millions of first-time shoppers. Shoppers get a fast checkout anywhere across the growing Bolt network, and retailers benefit from higher-converting shoppers. Everyone wins!” Breslow wrote on Product Hunt.
While “Buy Now” functionality might duplicate the success of tech goliaths, Breslow has set himself and the company apart from portrayals of Bezos and Amazon. He’s pursued creating a “conscious culture” which drives the way Bolt conducts business (with concepts like “conscious selling”) and manages its team members (Bolt introduced a 4-day workweek last month.)
That might attract burnt-out workers looking for new jobs. Meanwhile, investors note liking Bolt because it's focusing all its efforts on a 10/10 customer experience of the payments solution, rather than trying to do too much at once. The new $393M Series D drives the company's valuation to $6B.
Bolt is planning to use its new funding to expand beyond the US (you can expect to see Bolt debut in Europe in the first half of 2022). It does face competitors, including Fast — a Stripe-backed startup that wants to bring fast login to everything — and UK-based Checkout.com.
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“My parents were immigrants, counted every penny, didn't have a lot of savings and so they never learned how to build wealth or understood long-term savings. I want to make sure that never happens with my own two kids,” wrote maker Kashem Miah on today’s launch of GoHenry.
GoHenry is a kids debit card that teaches youngins about spending wisely in the real world with an app that lets parents guide the progress, send allowance, set goals, and more.