Pushpay Holdings Hits $100 Million on Church Mobile Payments

June 21, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Not so long ago, we heard about a church that was shifting its collection plate from a cash-only affair to a mobile payments experience. This was a bit outlandish, but only until you looked at it more closely; after all, people don’t always carry cash anymore, so why not accommodate their desire to be charitable as well? It’s a plan that’s worked well for some churches, and especially for Pushpay Holdings, which offers the service up for churches to put to use.

Pushpay Holdings recently achieved the $100 million mark in annualized revenue, and the company itself is valued at $1.2 billion. It’s co-founder, Eliot Crowther, is poised to depart the company with a stake worth just over $99 million, in a bid to spend more time with his family. The company originally started as an after-hours project for its founders, who saw a gap in the market in offering charity payments by mobile device.

The company had a hard road to reach its success, including one point in 2013 when it actually couldn’t pay its staff’s wages. That was addressed with a $2 million cash influx from Auckland investor Peter Huljich, and the company quickly recovered. The company went from losses to profitability, to the point achieved recently.

One of the company’s biggest success points was that it targeted church donations early on. It’s a fairly simple point: churches commonly run on donations, so the more ways it can offer patrons to provide those donations, the more likely they are to actually get said donations. By allowing mobile payments, it gets in the crowd that isn’t carrying cash anymore—generally the younger set—but may still want to offer up a little help to the neighborhood church. While church attendance among the young isn’t exactly brisk, it’s a safe bet that there’s enough $10s and $20s coming in from those who do to make up quite a bit of cash.

It’s clearly worked well, as demonstrated by the steadily-expanding profitability exhibited so far. If it’s worked so far, it’s likely to continue doing so, so Pushpay Holdings and those in the field should see real success going forward.