San Francisco financial tech startup Fast announced its presence in Tampa last summer with a star-studded news conference featuring Mayor Jane Castor, the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier and the Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov.
Eight months later, Fast is going out of business.
CEO Domm Holland announced Tuesday that the online checkout services company, which had adopted Tampa as its East Coast hub, is shutting its doors.
“After making great strides on our mission of making buying and selling frictionless for everyone, we have made the difficult decision to close our doors,” Holland wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “While you’ll no longer see the Fast button at checkout, we are incredibly proud of the team we assembled and our work to democratize commerce through Fast’s one-click checkout experience.
“I will be forever grateful to the Fast team, our investors and the sellers who shared our vision for improving the online buying system.”
Fast was held up as a success story for the Tampa Bay tech scene, with the colorful Holland moving his family to Tampa and setting up shop in Sparkman Wharf. Amalie Arena adopted Fast as an online payment option for Lightning games and other events. Holland joined the board and executive committee of the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council and spoke at the February’s Synapse Summit in Tampa. The company had fewer than a dozen employees, but was looking to expand.
But on Tuesday, tech news sites The Information and TechCrunch reported that investors had grown concerned about Fast’s spending compared to its revenue, which was only about $ 600,000 in 2021.
The company raised $ 102 million in a Series B funding round that closed in January 2021, following more than $ 20 million in its Series A round. One of Fast’s lead investors was online payment processing platform Stripe. The company grew from 63 employees to 350 last year, Holland told the Tampa Bay Times in January, and was looking to build on its partnership with the Lightning and expand into the NBA, NASCAR and English Premiere League.
“I’ve learned to be proactive in looking for potential problems,” Holland said in January. “Instead of being surprised and deflated by them, I’m embracing them as opportunities to build something even better.”
This isn’t Holland’s first brush with financial controversy. Before moving to the United States, Holland founded a tow-truck app in his native Australia that later closed after a legal battle with the government over payments.
Asked last fall what lessons he took from that experience that he later applied to Fast, Holland said: “Get a contract reviewer and be diligent before signing a contract, I think is number one. And don’t trust anyone just on their word. ”
Follow trends affecting the local economy
Subscribe to our free Business by the Bay newsletter
We’ll break down the latest business and consumer news and insights you need to know every Wednesday.
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.
Explore all your options
In his statement announcing Fast’s closing, Holland said he was proud of “bringing one-click and headless checkout into the mainstream.”
“Sometimes trailblazers don’t make it all the way to the top of the mountain,” he said. “But even in those situations, they pave a way that all others will follow.”
An email to a Fast Spokesperson was not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.
In a statement sent by a spokesperson, the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council said Holland still sits on the organization’s executive committee and board of directors, and would remain an investor in the EDC for the rest of the fiscal year.
“We’re sorry to hear about this news,” said EDC president and CEO Craig Richard in a statement. “Our team stands ready to help local fast employees who’ve lost their jobs connect with employers who are hiring.”