- Wage, an infrastructure software company that allows customers to securely share payroll data with third parties, closed an additional $5 million in financing led by Google's AI-focused venture fund, Gradient Ventures.
- The additional funding will let Wage scale customer acquisition and support additional payroll data partnerships.
- Wage currently works with payroll companies that reach more than 30 million customers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Starbucks, Dell and Hyatt Hotels.
Wage's application programming interface (API) delivers payroll data instantly, direct from the source — but without login checks and document uploads that some companies require for verification. Wage, formerly known as Verix, was founded in 2018.
"Historically, payroll data access has been a burdensome process for financial services providers, consumers, and employers," Wage CEO and Co-founder Ben Prawdzik said in an April 13 press release. "Our solution is comparable to a credit check. We completely remove the friction point of relying on consumers or their employers to act, whether uploading a document, entering data, taking a phone call, or going through a login flow."
Wage's payroll clients employ some 30 million workers at Amazon, Delta Airlines, Best Buy, Starbucks, Dell, and Hyatt Hotels, among others, the company said.
By leveraging direct-data integrations from payroll partners, Wage lets consumers quickly and securely share their data with third parties of their choice — such as lenders, landlords, hiring managers and other fintech apps.
By contrast, some competing firms access data by asking consumers to provide their payroll account username and password before deploying bots to log into the consumer's account via the public internet. This is a process, referred to as "web scraping," in which consumers sometimes can't remember their payroll login information and bots fail because payroll systems deploy anti-scraping tools or change their websites, the Wage release said.
As companies gravitate to digital payments systems, streamlined verification options similar to what Wage offers are in demand. It's why companies such as Alloy and Jumio are pursuing opportunities to increase their footprint across the digital commerce landscape.
Investors have taken notice and are allocating money into startups developing the new verification approaches. The Wage financing group also included investment from 8VC, Pear Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, CoFound Partners, and executives from SoFi, Public, Zillow and Affirm.