5 hot new business apps: Venmo breaks through; Uber's API is game changing; more
Business Insider reports that in Q2, Venmo surpassed the most popular single store payment app, Starbucks, for the first time when it comes to U.S. transaction volume. While the website admits that comparing the two is a bit unfair, as Venmo has more potential uses and a social aspect, it is still remarkable to see the relative quick rise of the hottest new mobile payment app. In Q4 of 2013, the Starbucks app was moving $346 million worth of transactions through its app while Venmo was doing $194 million. In Q2 of 2014, Starbucks did $413 million in business on its app and Venmo handled $468 million in transactions.
Venmo parent company Braintree was purchased by PayPal last year, and the online payment giant has been quick to learn from its newest family member, according to TechCrunch. Venmo Touch is the umbrella function used by Braintree partner apps to access user information across a swath of programs so users don't need to continually input their payment information at checkout while on mobile devices. In August, PayPal revealed its version of what is essentially the same thing called One Touch, which will be made available to its much larger network of merchants. While seemingly redundant, Braintree CEO Bill Ready tells TechCrunch that the two apps and their respective "Touch" abilities will coincide in some of the same apps, with the idea being not to cut off users from whatever app they prefer to use.
Uber opened up its API to developers in August, according to Mashable, and the results have so far been predictable yet undeniably game changing. The $18 billion "startup" announced the move with 11 partners already in tow, including Hinge, United Airlines and TripAdvisor. With the "primitives" available to their developers, companies can play around with Uber's technology in some creative ways, such as dating app Hinge's new function that asks if users would like to hail a car when they suggest a meeting place during their chats. And, of course, PayPal and Venmo are both accepted payment methods.
A new job app launched last week that will turn the unhappily employed job searcher's task into a covert operation, according to Mashable. Poacht, released for the iOS and Android, connects to a user's LinkedIn profile and passively searches for positions based on salary level, benefits and some other options. Once something interesting presents itself, the app will notify the user. According to the article, Poacht CEO Maisie Devine is not worried about similar apps, like Jobr and LinkedIn's own mobile job search function. The company currently has 70 companies providing listings and several thousand job seekers letting the app look for them.
Google rebranded its Enterprise arm Tuesday as "Google for Work" in order to elicit a more friendly response from users (because everyone loves the word "work"), according to the company's blog. The post further tries to separate its hip, productive services from the stodgy "enterprise" by recounting all of the available functions it provides. The abilities of Google Apps, Maps, Search, Chrome, Android, Cloud Platform and more have been only bolstered by the rising cloud and the advent of mobile computing, according to the company, and they think the name change is necessary to simplify and clarify what their business does--work.