Digital VAT refund platform RefundMe is currently raising a 100k pre-seed round via LeapFunder, which will go towards accelerating their development, delivering support to its partner retailers and airports in the Netherlands, and purchase hardware.
The year-old start-up, which is currently participating in Startupbootcamp’s FinTech & CyberSecurity accelerator in the heart of Amsterdam, leverages IoT tech to enable governments to validate purchases of non-EU tourists without the latter having to deal with all the paperwork at the airport while giving them peace of mind that their refund claims are valid.
RefundMe’s offering works like this:
- Tourists shop at any of their partner retailers
- After purchase, they scan a QR code on the RFID tag that is attached to the purchased item
- Their scanners, which are placed in strategic locations in the airport, track, detect, and validate the items automatically without any human intervention
- A push notification is sent saying that their items have been validated
RefundMe CEO Jerome Ibañez says that this benefits a host of parties, as it “offers their clients better customer experience, airports are not filled with queues, and governments are assured that the refund is given to the right people every single time”.Since beginning RefundMe just a year ago, the start-up has finished developing a fully-functional MVP, received problem validation and process approval from Spain, France, and Singapore, ten airports, and six luxury brands. They are working towards a pilot in the Netherlands and onboarded Amsterdam’s third-largest jewellery chain, Ace Jewelers, as its pilot retailer. You can participate in the round here.