Betabeat visited our local pay-with-your-phone startup Venmo yesterday in the company’s overcrowded, underdecorated Chelsea office. It’s two floors above a spa and reminds us of a high school computer lab with the accompanying young people, T-shirts and computers, although the Macbooks were a bit nicer than the monstrous HP desktops we remember from class. We followed cofounder Andrew Kortina down two flights of stairs to a space Venmo has annexed on the second floor, scooted past an intern in Venmo’s bright blue shirt, and kicked a few employees out of a small conference room, where Mr. Kortina propped open the window with an umbrella. A DIY piece of art made out of nails and what appeared to be a piece of the ceiling spelled out “magic room.”
Venmo will probably outgrow its little office soon, although Mr. Kortina likes its proximity to both Penn Station and Whole Foods. Venmo is processing $10 million in transactions per month and growing 30 percent month-over-month. At that rate, give or take a few variables–Mr. Kortina is a data nerd–the company will do $250 million in transaction volume this year.
Perhaps that’s why Mr. Kortina seemed so laid back as Betabeat peppered him with questions about his competitors. But what about Dwolla? What about PayPal? What about Google Wallet? Mr. Kortina is tan and lean, eats kale salads and rides a bike, speaks evenly and takes unhurried pauses. He wishes Whole Foods would take Venmo, but in general, he is not worried about the competition. Read More