Stratos Funding Hits $5.8M For Mobile Payment Platform

ANN ARBOR — The Ann Arbor mobile payment technology startup Stratos Inc. says its venture funding has hit $5.8 million.

The company’s Bluetooth Connected Card Platofrm aims to combine all the plastic cards in a consumer’s wallet into a single, smart, dynamic card — combining credit, debit and loyalty cards.

“We are in production to deliver a groundbreaking card that will simplify consumers’ lives,” said Stratos CEO Thiago Olson. “This funding has allowed us to accelerate and scale our recruiting, manufacturing and customer support. Our vision is to build long-term relationships with our card members by continuously delivering innovative payment solutions that will always be convenient, reliable and secure.”

Funding has come from San Francisco-based Toba Capital Partners, Portola Valley, Calif.-based Western Technology Investment, Ann Arbor-based Resonant Venture Partners and Chicago-based Hyde Park Venture Partners.

“Thiago is one of those rare founders who has the unique balance of both deep technical prowess and consumer insight,” said Jason Townsend, managing director of Resonant Venture Partners. “Stratos has built a scalable organization that will bring transformative products to the payments, access and ID sectors. From the outset Thiago and team have tackled the hardest technology challenges in the industry. They have flown under the radar quietly building in-house technology and strategic partnerships that place them in a great position to lead this market.”

Stratos was founded by Olson, Chris Bartenstein and Henry Balanon. Olson, a veteran of the U.S. Department of Defense, Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratories and a hybrid car startup, is CEO and oversees the company’s strategic direction. Bartenstein, COO, met Olson at Vanderbilt and develops connected devices for student ID at the school, and manages day-to-day operations and the global supply chain. Balanon, a successful technology entrepreneur with Detroit Labs and Stratos CTO, oversees product development, engineering and quality assurance.

Stratos leadership also includes CMO Sheila Dahlgren, founder of Scene7, which was acquired by Adobe, and who had leadership roles at Adobe, Mattel and Broderbund Software, who leads product marketing and corporate communications for Stratos; and CFO and vice president of operations Craig Sprinkle, former CFO of ePrize LLC, who oversees the company’s accounting, finance, HR and areas of the company’s global supply chain operations.

“Consumers want safer and more convenient ways to pay in all channels,” said Olson. “We hope to accelerate consumer adoption for mobile payments by making our platform frictionless with respect to merchant infrastructure.”

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