The Department of Motor Vehicles is infamous for its arbitrary rules, overworked employees and long lines. Making this annual pilgrimage is a rite of driving passage for many but strikes fear into the hearts of all but a fortunate few. Kansas City start-up PayIt has a plan to change all of that, however.
While waiting in his own DMV line, CEO and founder John Thomson realized that there was a smarter, simpler way of doing business and PayIt found its beginning. “The DMV is really the poster child of how dated and frustrating our experiences with (government) can be,” Thomson said, recalling the afternoon he spent waiting to renew his vehicle’s tag. “Everything is really fragmented and disconnected for citizens. Government is really the only enterprise that treats its customers like that…We’re reimagining the way government serves the people and the way people do business with government.”
The service offers city, county, state and federal government agencies a customized platform on which citizens can create their own profile to communicate with staff or make payments. Whether that’s paying property taxes, traffic citations or turnpike tolls, PayIt is modernizing the way governments work with their citizens.
Creating value for people is at the heart of the company’s reason for being and its catching on quickly with governments eager to streamline their services. Founded in 2013, the company can count the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kansas Turnpike Authority, and Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as clients and there are, no doubt, many more.
Part of his company’s success, Thomson says, is due to earning a place on the GovTech100 list – an annual enumeration of innovative companies making a difference in state and local governments. Put out by Government Technology News, PayIt has been nominated the last three years running and it’s this recognition which has helped raise the company’s profile.
Faced with the very enviable problem of keeping pace with demand, the company recently secured $100 million dollars from Insight Partners to scale their operations. PayIt already employs 70 people and are looking to almost double that number by the end of 2019.
“We’re already growing at a pretty good clip, and this will really help us accelerate R&D, serving more clients, and putting the pedal down on growth,” said Thomson, PayIt CEO and co-founder, describing the impact of Insight Partners’ more than $100 million investment. “Our goal is to be not just transformative in this industry – we feel a real sense of mission to help people – but we also want to build the next great Kansas City company.”
Based in Kansas City but with coast-to-coast capabilities, Thomson knows there is no place like home for his company. “This city really is a tech hub, and we’re believers in building a business in the community, and being part of it. Everything is an ecosystem. Let’s build it here, where the talent is, where the vibe is. We want to contribute to that, not just benefit from it.”