With the emergence of credit cards, tip jars seemed to remain forever empty. Fortunately for anyone whose existence depends on tips, DipJar raised funds for a tip jar that doesn’t accept cash, just credit cards.
The $420,000 seed round raised by DipJar (nice word play, since swiping the credit card through this device resembles dipping a tortilla chip in a sauce – secondly, who doesn’t like deep jars that are full of money?) should be more than enough for mass producing the hardware. Led by Project 11, the round saw funds coming from such angels as Bob Mason, Brightcove founder, and Katie Rae and Reed Sturtevant, former Techstars Boston directors, Will Herman, Warren Katz, Joe Caruso, Mike Dornbrook, Bill Warner, and Scott Heller, among many others.
Founded by CEO Ryder Kessler, New York-based DipJar is the result of frustration. More exactly, Kessler felt bad about one of his favorite coffee shops only offering the option to tip with cash, and decided that something needed to be done. Because the tips had gotten very low there, the baristas said they’d rather have the bar empty than full of customers, as it didn’t make much of a difference for them. That’s a bit of a hypocritical attitude, as the price of the drinks is usually calculated so that it covers a bit of the utilities and the salary of the employees, not to mention a bit of profit.
DipJar, the electronic tip jar, may soon be coming to a bar near you. The first prototype rolled out in the summer of 2012, but since then, the developers of this device must have had a lot of convincing to do.
The hardware of the DipJar is not complicated at all, as it only includes a wireless credit card reader placed in a cylindrical case. Kessler declined to provide details on how much it costs the company to produce the electronic tip jar, nor did he say for how much it will sell. In the end, the makers of this device don’t intend to eliminate cash tips entirely, just to provide an additional method of showing your appreciation towards the baristas.
While not a tremendously revolutionary device on its own, the DipJar is only one of the things that will prepare the transition to a cash-free society.
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