trustshare, an escrow infrastructure as a service startup that enables brands that consumers trust to offer escrow payments, has raised £2.3m led by Nauta Capital.
The London-based fintech’s mission is to combat fraud and mistrust in high-value online purchases
through their easy-to-integrate digital escrow platform. Unlike existing third-party escrow providers, trustshare’s white-labelled platform enables marketplaces and brands that consumers trust to launch a fully branded escrow solution with 5 lines of code.
Once the platform is live, buyers can checkout into a dedicated account per transaction on the marketplace. The seller sees the funds so is happy to deliver the product or service. Once completed and the buyer is satisfied, the buyer releases funds to the seller. The marketplace can also take a share of the transaction and monetise a previously untapped side of their business.
With ecommerce fraud growing by 45% a solution to combat fraud is escrow. However, escrow is difficult for businesses to offer as it is within a regulated industry, as well as being complex and costly to build and operate as an in-house solution.
Nick Fulton, CEO and co-founder of trustshare, explains: “Escrow is viewed as this slow, archaic payment method used in M&A and traditional property purchases, but its core premise of offering a trust layer between buyer and seller is of ever-increasing value in a world moving remote.
“Our 5 lines of code branded escrow checkout is taking many marketplaces, brands that consumers know and trust, transactional. Really, this is just the start. Our borderless escrow infrastructure is incredibly powerful, and we plan to launch new products including instant pay-throughs, baskets and projects to make payments as quick and easy as sending an email.”
One simple example of how escrow infrastructure unlocks doors and offers unique differentiators in the market is that sellers only have to “onboard” with KYC/AML controls after buyers have completed checkout, whilst funds are safeguarded in the dedicated escrow account. This makes it quick and easy to roll out payments across every listing from day 1 rather than requiring users to complete verification checks before they even complete a transaction.
With payment coverage in over 180 countries in 30 global currencies, trustshare is currently focusing on non-transactional B2B marketplaces, online classified, and trade directories. Some current customers who’ve gone transactional with trustshare, include Watchcollecting, Bookabuilder and UK trade body FENSA’s Deposit Protection service.
Commenting on the investment, Carles Ferrer, Nauta Capital’s London based General Partner said: “trustshare’s scalable and low-cost escrow infrastructure product looks to be a great solution for a very clear need for a supplier that can deliver trusted payments for high-value transactions. From the first meeting, we were extremely impressed by their industry expertise and track record, and we’re honoured to partner with them at such a crucial time.”
Having previously raised an angel round from the like of Alex Chesterman, founder of Cazoo and Zoopla and James Hind, CEO of Carwow, trustshare plans to use their £2.3M seed round to accelerate core product features, hire talent across key business functions as well as open their first U.S. office. The company also plans to roll out alternative payment methods including credit checkout for consumers later in the year.
Based in London, trustshare was founded in 2020 by Nick Fulton (CEO and co-founder) and Joe Harlow (CTO and co-founder), who have extensive operational experience within payments and fintech space.