Tipjoy, a Y Combinator-funded micropayment startup that launched in February, has closed a Series A funding round led by Betaworks, with The Accelerator Group and Chris Sacca also participating. The company hasn’t disclosed the exact amount of the funding, but says that it is just shy of $1 million.
Tipjoy offers as a basic micropayment system that allows bloggers to leave virtual tipjars on their sites, asking for donations from users who appreciate their material. The system can also be used to collect money for any number of purposes, including charity and digital goods.
To enable Tipjoy, site owners embed a small piece of code on their page, which is linked to their main Tipjoy account. To leave a tip, visitors need only enter their email address and the amount they’d like to give. Tipjoy then sends them an email with their outstanding balance, which they can pay off using PayPal (credit card support is on the way).
The system’s most obvious flaw is that users are never held accountable for their tips – nobody comes after you if you fail to pay off your Tipjoy debt. But promising the payment was voluntary in the first place, so there’s not much of a reason to leave a fake tip.
Here’s a sample Tipjoy Tipjar, offering one of the site’s press releases for 99 cents (all proceeds go to charity):