Fast - 1Click Checkout Solutions
Fast aims to solve a customer pain point by streamlining the online checkout experience.
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Founded in 2019, Fast is a platform that allows users to buy items on partner merchants’ sites with one click and no login. This streamlines and standardizes the online shopping experience for customers across all platforms, allowing them to quickly purchase everything they need with a single click instead of having to fill out lengthy information forms.
The company is headquartered in San Francisco, founded by Domm Holland and Allison Barr Allen, and funded by Stripe, Addition, Index Ventures, Susa Ventures and Sugar Capital. It has raised a total of $124.5M in funding over 4 rounds. The latest funding was raised in January 2021 from a Series B round.
Business Overview & Products
Fast provides online login and checkout solutions, which are designed to provide users with a secure shopping experience. Unlike giants like Amazon, Shopify, Apple Pay, and PayPal, which also offer one-click checkouts, Fast is not a closed ecosystem. It works with any device and with any product. Like Shopify Pay only works for Shopify, or Apple Pay only works for Apple devices, this is not the case for Fast.
Fast aims to shorten the process of online transactions and engagements. For this it has developed what it calls a “Fast Ecosystem”, and it comprises 3 products. These include the Fast Login, which is for logging in. The Fast Login is live on hundreds of websites and serves tens of thousands of logins a month. Another product called Fast Checkout is for purchases. The last product is Post-purchase, and this is where every single purchase made on every store across the internet comes into a customer’s “Fast feed”. This allows them to track deliveries, download receipts and re-order items.
However, it must be noticed that when a customer uses Fast Checkout for the first time, they will go through a traditional checkout experience. Here they will have to supply their personal information, select a shipping option and then complete their purchase. But after this first purchase, customers never have to re-enter their information again and can simply use the Fast Checkout button for an instant buy.
How It Works
Fast aims to address an immediate pain point, which is the checkout part of the online shopping experience. Instead of having to fill out lengthy forms, customers can simply click on a button to complete their purchase.
For this, it partners with online stores. All online stores that subscribe to Fast can install Fast on their website in less than an hour. This is done by placing buttons next to each product so that customers who have signed up and stored their credit card details with Fast can click to purchase immediately. As soon as the Fast Checkout button is clicked, it will instantly access customers’ payment, shipping and communications information without them having to log in, remember an email, password, or even have a debit card on hand. Customers get to bypass the account creation or form-filling at whichever website they are shopping at because their information has been recorded with Fast.
By the end of 2021, Fast hopes to get much larger retailers on board. It also aims to embed checkout within everything from email to blogs.
Business Model & Pricing
The main goal is to make transactions faster, so Fast charges its business partners for that benefit and essentially makes the service free for its consumers. It does not have any secondary business models and there is no supplementary income that it derives from the use of that collected data or the use of those consumers.
A user will never have to pay for using a Fast Checkout or for storing information with Fast. Instead, the online sellers that the user will purchase items from are charged by Fast. The start-up makes its money by charging sellers a small transaction fee to process payments for a transaction. This is a standard rate of 2.9%+29 c of every purchase. This becomes 3.9%+29c for international cards, and +2% if currency conversion is required.
To lower costs for the sellers, Fast performs order batching. This means multiple orders made by the same customer are combined into a single transaction. Any shopper that makes multiple transactions within 5 minutes of each other are also combined into just one transaction.
According to the company’s website, Fast Checkout and Fast Login are available to sellers in 30+ countries. Both these solutions support 100+ currencies. To expand its 1-click checkout availability, Fast partners with Headless Checkout Partners to bring the checkout solution to publisher, email, SMS, blog, or in-person.
Fast has gained a lot of traction in the year 2021 alone. According to an article by Techcrunch, by 2021 Fast’s Gross Merchandise Volume processed by its checkout service has “more than tripled each month,” and the trend is expected to continue and in fact increase.
In November 2021, Fast announced a major expansion into the UK in response to extraordinary demand for the company’s unique one-click checkout product. The first ever British seller to partner with Fast is Revolution Beauty, a beauty and personal care business.
In December 2021, Fast partnered with Bloomreach, a commerce experience cloud. This partnership will enable a seamless checkout experience across a brand’s digital marketing channels whereby Fast Login and Checkout will be available for all Bloomreach Engagement customers to embed into emails, text messages, and more.
Founder(s) & Team
Domm Holland: Co-Founder and CEO at Fast. Domm has founded a number of ventures in Australia prior to Fast, serving as CEO for one called Tow. He has worked in multinational companies such as Dell, and has deep cross-functional experience.
Allison Barr Allen: Co-Founder and COO at Fast. She is also a limited partner at Operator Collective. Prior to Fast, Allison was the head of global product operations for Uber’s Money Team.
History and Evolution
Originally in 1999, Amazon filed a patent for the one-click feature, which forced others to either pay a licensing fee or avoid this feature of shopping altogether. However, this patent expired in 2017. In 2019, Fast was founded and quickly capitalized on the feature, raising millions in just 18 months.
In an interview, co-founder Domm Holland revealed how he came up with the idea of Fast. He states, “I started the company after seeing my wife’s grandmother literally be unable to order groceries online because she forgot her password and just couldn’t get through the checkout process.”
He also revealed that the biggest challenge for the company is of a regulatory nature. As e-commerce is global, Fast is also naturally global. This means that it has to cater to many different kinds of payment laws and privacy laws around the world. So the company has a lot of focus on how it can scale regulatory challenges quickly.
In terms of funding, the company has managed to raise $124.5 Million in a total of 4 funding rounds. In November 2019, a seed round of $2.5 Million was executed. This was followed by a $20 Million Series A round in March 2020, which brought the company’s valuation to $180 Million at the time. A secondary market round was held in April 2020, which was followed by a Series B round of $102 Million in January 2021.
Several competitors of fast have cropped up since the company started gaining traction. Fast’s outsized Series B came after a number of rival online checkout providers such as Bolt, Rapyd and Checkout raised large rounds.
Fast never charges the end customer and has a focus on streamlining their customer experience.
Fast is planning to open an office in London in 2022. With many employees already based out of the UK, the company is hiring recruits from there extensively due to its massive pool of highly educated and e-commerce-savvy candidates.
In 2019, more than 10% of total global purchases occurred online, a figure that’s projected to nearly double in the next decade.
Cart abandonment is a common problem in ecommerce. Nearly 70% of shopping carts are abandoned and almost 20% of US online shoppers abandoned an order in the past quarter (2021) specifically due to a long or complicated checkout process.
Cart abandonment costs ecommerce businesses nearly $4.6T a year in lost revenue.
Suggested Next Reads
Domm Holland, Co-Founder and CEO of Fast (The Takeoff, April ‘20)
Breakout Startup of the Week: Fast will become the king of ecommerce (The Business of Business, September ‘20)
Checkout platform Fast tackles cart abandonment with this one-two punch (Retail Customer Experience, November ‘21)