Amazon invented the “1-click checkout” but its patent expired in 2017, enabling companies like Fast and Shopify to develop their own versions of single click checkouts. Fast’s one-click checkout technology can be used on any site, platform or device and is not tied to a specific e-commerce platform.
Mr Holland said Fast enabled merchants to boost conversion (the proportion of online visitors who complete a purchase) by an average of 60 per cent and reduced trolley abandonment – which can be as high as 85 per cent – by half.
Fast’s “headless checkout” enabled merchants to reach shoppers when they were looking at magazines such as Vogue online or browsing recipe sites.
Merchants could embed a Fast Checkout button on the site of a third party publisher and enable shoppers to purchase products such as clothing, accessories or homewares with one click. The shopper does not need to go to the retailer’s website, find the product, go to the checkout and enter their personal details, while the third party publisher receives an affiliate fee.
“Fast gives [retailers] a best in class checkout and a shoppable channel, whether it’s social network messaging sites, email or other people’s websites,” said Mr Holland.
Fast’s arrival in Australia is a bit of a homecoming for Sydney-born Mr Holland, who started selling computer parts online when he was at boarding school and moved to San Francisco in 2019 after raising $2.5 million in seed capital.
“I knew very early this was going to be a big business, it’s a massive opportunity for a massive problem,” Mr Holland said.
“What we’re building is a really large consumer network scale business and Australia doesn’t have experience with really big consumer networks,” he said.
“Here [in San Francisco] I can throw a rock and hit 500 people who do have that experience.
“There’s [also] lots more capital available here and [people] eager to invest in these businesses that require funding to get to network scale and balloon,” he said. “Australia doesn’t have the amount of capital and it’s also more conservative in the allocation of capital.“
The company raised $US102 million in a series B fund round in January following a $20 million Series A raise in March 2020, taking total funding to $US125 million. The Series A and B rounds were led by Stripe, which is Fast’s largest shareholder after Mr Holland and which also provides payments processing for the company.
Fast is close to launching a post-purchase upsell product – offering shoppers relevant items such as shoes to go with the dress they bought off a fashion page – and later this year it will enable shoppers to buy with one click using a buy now, pay later product.
Mr Holland said Fast had no immediate plans for an initial public offering, despite increasing customer numbers to more than 500, including one of the top five retailers in the US, and staff to more than 160.
“At the moment the focus is on the initial product offer and building out our platform and expanding our customer base,” he said.
“As soon as I can get back into the country without having to sit in a hotel for two weeks, I’ll open a local office.”