Collaborative consumption is all the rage these days, as new platforms have emerged to allow people to make goods or services easily available to others. But the rise of peer-to-peer marketplaces like Airbnb, Getaround, and TaskRabbit has also led to problems in payment infrastructure.
Y Combinator-backed startup Balanced is one company offering a way for companies like those to both take in and make payments to users on either side of the transaction. But what if they only need to make payments to users who provide the goods or services? With the launch of Balanced's Payouts API, announced to customers today, they'll be able to do that.
Balanced provides a platform that is designed especially for peer-to-peer marketplace companies like CrowdTilt, Zaarly, and others. Those companies not only need payment processing on the consumer side, but they also need a way to quickly pay the people who provide services or make their goods available to others. In many cases, that makes it a more complete offering than some of the other options out there.
At the same time, not every marketplace needs or wants the complete payment solution. That's why Balanced is releasing a standalone API for its next-day ACH deposits portion of its platform.
The new API will offer marketplaces who have settled on an incoming payment provider, like Stripe or Braintree, to use Balanced's platform without having to adopt the whole solution. Rather than issuing checks or making payments via PayPal, they'll now be able to make next-day deposits into the bank accounts of its users. It's also being used by some ad networks to make faster and more efficient payments to their publishers. Each payout costs 25 cents.
While Balanced Payouts has been in private beta for the last few months, the startup is now making the API available to anyone who might want to use it. Launch partners for the new product include Grubwithus, Kibin, Vungle, CourseHorse and Adworkz.
Balanced was founded by a group of former employees at Milo.com, which was acquired by eBay in 2010, and graduated the Winter 2011 Y Combinator class. It has raised $1.4 million from SV Angel, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, celebrity investor Ashton Kutcher and Reddit CEO Yishan Wong among others.