By Riley Kaminer
When Juan Jurado-Blanco was working in a restaurant, he’d often rack up hundreds of dollars in tips in a given day. This income was critical, enabling him to pay his bills and support family abroad. But there was a major problem: it would take him days, if not weeks, to actually receive these tips. That is because the tips paid by card would first land in the business owner’s bank account before trickling into his at the end of the month.
“One of my co-workers, a single mom who was having some financial struggles, said that she would be willing to lose 20% of her tips if she were able to receive that money immediately,” Jurado-Blanco told Refresh Miami.
At that moment, a lightbulb went off. Why not create a platform that would do just that? A bit more market research further validated this idea. So he teamed up with Anthony Tardugno, a childhood friend from his native Venezuela, to start building a solution.
In January, the duo managed to raise a $300,000 friends and family round – enough to onboard technical co-founder Jeremy Pagley and build the initial version of their platform, Clockout.
For workplaces using Clockout, employees can opt-in to be paid at the end of their shift. On the backend, Clockout has a credit facility that enables them to temporarily front this cash before eventually being paid by the employer. The funds can be sent right to the employee’s bank account, or as a remittance payment to their family abroad.
The system is easy for workplaces and employees to set up right through their current POS and payroll systems. Clockout then charges either 99 cents or $2.99 per transaction, depending on the volume. For remittances, Clockout says that its system ends up costing about half as much as traditional methods. “We make the remittance process frictionless and super convenient,” asserted Jurado-Blanco.
Carmela Coffee in east Boca Raton is the first location to set up Clockout. Already eight of the 10 employees at the shop have started using the platform. Within the next month or so, Clockout will onboard the 350 employees across 14 different businesses that have asked to sign up. A further 400 workers have registered their interest in Clockout and referred their employers organically.
Using Clockout is equally beneficial to employers from a talent perspective. They can tout their use of the platform as a competitive advantage, helping them retain and attract workers in an increasingly competitive labor market.
Clockout also plans to start issuing a secure charge card, which comes with a bank account ready to receive direct debits. These cards would enable users to build credit, while providing Clockout with an additional revenue stream.
“Ideally, we want to become a neobank for low-income earners, where they not only have access to their financial to their unpaid earnings, but also have a broader array of financial products that you can use,” explained Jurado-Blanco.
Cooper City-based Jurado-Blanco and Tardugno recently took part in this year’s Farm to Fork accelerator run by Techstars, which focused on the future of food and agriculture. Before Clockout, Jurado-Blanco and Tardugno worked on Walla Payments, a fintech that aimed to be a multicurrency Venmo.
“People have been very receptive so far in terms of introducing us to people in the Miami tech space,” said Jurado-Blanco. He explained that South Florida has been an ideal market for Clockout to launch in, both in terms of potential users and businesses to target.
“We’re definitely very comfortable here, and our message really resonates,” asserted Jurado-Blanco. We want to make a big impact locally.”
Photo at top of post: Clockout co-founders, left to right, Anthony Tardugno, Juan Jurado-Blanco, and Jeremy Pagley.
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