Iowa-Based Dwolla Expands to New York with Two New Hires

By Erin Griffith , written on April 16, 2012

From The News Desk

Des Moine's disruptive payments company Dwolla is coming to the Big Apple. The company today announced it hired NY-based Alex Taub, head of business developement for photo editing site Aviary, to lead its own biz dev, and Michael Schonfeld, a developer at Nerve Dating, as its Developer Evangelist.

The pair built the popular Most Valuable Follower site a few months back. Now Taub is tasked with roping third party ecommerce sites into integrating Dwolla's payment authorization, placing a button right next to the Paypal and credit card buttons on a check-out page. Dwolla does something like $2 million to $3 million in bank-to-bank transfers a day. The key is that transactions under $10 are free and anything higher charges a flat 25 cent fee.

Because of its price point, Dwolla is promising as a payment method for micro-transactions like gaming and donations. Taub's task of expanding usage is not dissimilar from his role at Aviary, where he helped transition the Web photo editor from a destination point to an API platform that can be integrated into a number of apps. The company recently announced a partnership with Flickr, for example.

It's a crowded space, with players like Stripe, Square, PayNearMe, Google Wallet, and of course PayPal aggressively making payments more seamless and secure online.

Dwolla has scared up $6.31 million from an all-star cast of investors including Union Square Ventures, Thrive Capital, Village Ventures, Artists & Instigators, Paige Craig, Betterworks, and even fellow Iowan Ashton Kutcher. An adorably silly-sounding name doesn't hurt its cause, either.