Midwest Investors Double Down On Fintech Startup

Cleveland Startup Mezu Raises $10M Series A Round with Funding from Draper Triangle Ventures, JumpStart, Draper Associates, the Ohio Innovation Fund and North Coast Angel Fund

Midwest investors are all in on Cleveland fintech startup Mezu (www.mezu.com). The company officially launched its mobile payment app this summer after raising a $10M Series A round and quickly drawing attention from investors across the state and region.

Draper Triangle Ventures led the round with participation from JumpStart Inc. and other regional investors, including the Ohio Innovation Fund, North Coast Angel Fund and private investors.

Mezu was founded by serial entrepreneur Yuval Brisker following the massively successful exit of his previous startup, TOA Technologies. TOA was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2014, in one of the largest venture capital-backed exits in Ohio’s history. Brisker worked at Oracle for two years integrating the company and then quickly turned his efforts to launching Mezu with his co-founder and former TOA employee, Pedro Silva.

Mezu’s Series A fundraising round is a testament to investor confidence in both the idea and the team.

“Our investment in Mezu marks our largest investment of 2018. We were a major investor in TOA Technologies and didn’t hesitate to back Yuval again. There is a great opportunity for Mezu to build a large, global fintech business,” said Draper Triangle Managing Director Mike Stubler. “We also love to see a serial entrepreneur like Yuval stay in the Midwest after such a successful exit and start something new here.”

Differently than other payment apps, Mezu gives users a private and secure way to give and get money without sharing any personal information. The app is built to allow users to pay people they don’t know as well as those they do through a patented, encrypted code.

“Cash is still the most widely used payment instrument in the world, which leaves a huge opportunity for a mobile payment app that provides the experience of cash,” said Rem Harris, JumpStart’s senior partner in charge of investing. “Other payment apps act like virtual checks, and only allow users to send money to people they know.”

In addition to the peer-to-peer benefits of Mezu, the app is gaining recognition through its unique DropCode feature as a way to give quick, private “flash donations” to causes and charities that users care about.

The company celebrated its launch at the Los Angeles Pride Parade and Festival—where it was the sole fundraising tool used by event organizers—and recently announced new partnerships with the Cleveland Orchestra and The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA CLE) to give supporters a way to donate instantly through their mobile phones.

“Mezu has captured a lot of attention in a short amount of time in a complex and competitive industry,” added Harris. “Mezu has built technology that can scale quickly and grow internationally—we believe the potential is massive.”

The free Mezu app is available now in the App Store and the Google Play Store.

MEZU is a mobile payment app that gives you a private and secure way to give and get money without sharing your personal information. Just like cash, with Mezu, you can conveniently pay, tip, earn and donate safely and for free. Because Mezu believes that what you do with your money is your business. Mezu is now available on iOS and Android in the United States. Sign up and learn more: https://www.mezu.com.

JUMPSTART INC. unlocks the full potential of diverse and ambitious entrepreneurs to economically transform entire communities. For more information,  follow @JumpStartInc on Twitter.

DRAPER TRIANGLE VENTURES provides early-stage venture capital to extraordinary Midwest entrepreneurs who are changing the world. Learn more at http://drapertriangle.com