PayPal Rival WePay Raises $10M

Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Bill Clerico, seen here in July 2011, is CEO of WePay, which just raised $10 million.

Back in his days at Boston College, Bill Clerico knew how to stand out in a crowd. He did it by donning a costume of the school’s mascot, an eagle. Now as co-founder and CEO of WePay, one of many startups targeting the payments industry, he needs to stand out again.

Some investors are taking notice. WePay has just raised $10 million in a financing round led by Ignition Partners. Highland Capital Partners and August Capital, who were previous investors, also participated in the round. The company, founded in 2008, has raised about $20 million so far.

The Palo Alto, California-based company said the funds will be used to grow its workforce of 40 employees and expand its technology, which WePay touts as an easy way for small businesses to begin accepting payments online. It counts EBay’s PayPal as one of its big competitors.

When assessing a merchant’s track record, WePay looks at data on social networks. Once a business has an online presence — say, on Facebook or Yelp — they’re most likely going to have reviews and comments that can be data-mined. Clerico said it’s far easier for would-be fraudsters to create fake paperwork, than to control everything that is written about them on the Web.

Clerico won’t reveal revenues, but says sales grew by 10 times in 2011.

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