TextPayMe was the brainchild of three young entrepreneurs: Phillip Yuen, CJ Huang, and Gerald Yeung. Founded in 2005, the idea of the company was to enable mobile payments through text messages - up to $500 per month. TextPayMe participated in the Y Combinator startup program.
Amazon’s first foray into the payment market was its product called Pay with Amazon launched in 2007. Later in the same year, Amazon was seen acquiring the peer to peer mobile service, TexPayMe, which was rebranded as Amazon Webpay in 2011. Unfortunately for Amazon, P2P had not yet taken off at that time and it seemed that Amazon was too early to the market.
Just two years after Amazon bought TextPayMe, another company by the name of Venmo was founded. Today, Venmo has 40 million users and belongs to PayPal. On the other hand, Amazon Webpay failed to garner that kind of attention and was shut down in 2014.
Despite Amazon’s many efforts to launch a successful payment service, there have been no definite successes for the company so far. Many believe that this is due to its lack of focus on what its actual target market and product are. Ultimately, the company had to choose between creating a standalone solution or creating a tool that fits into the Amazon ecosystem.