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Ted Leonsis goes Web 2.0

Ted Leonsis, the Man, the Myth, the Legend himself, has declared himself “Web 2.0” with the announcement and beta launch of Revolution Money Exchange.

First, let me say relax. Ted’s no longer calling himself an SEO, and he even told me he respects what SEOs do and hires plenty of them in his businesses, so no need to fire up another Ted Leonsis SEO Contest, ok? ;-)

According to the press release, it’s Revolution Money, a payment processor and more. There’s a gift card, a pre-paid card, a credit card link, and PayPal-like money transfers with NO FEE on either end. That’s right… free transfer of money to and from your bank account, and then between account holders. Like PayPal without the fees. Imagine that.

Oh and did I mention it’s Web 2.0? Really. Steve Case says it is, in the press release:

“So we have built an innovative Web 2.0 company based on the latest technology to disrupt the decades-old system…”

It’s innovative. It’s Web 2.0. I didn’t see the words “brilliant” or “passionate” used to describe the founders, but clearly they are brilliant and passionate. And it’s Web 2.0, as the press release continues to assert:

“Revolution Money has created the first Web 2.0 payment platform designed for a mainstream consumer audience, especially those who enjoy the convenience of handling their financial affairs and purchasing online.”

Personally, I’m not sure what’s Web 2.0 about it. The site itself does have some light green and light blue coloring, and the corners of the boxes are slightly rounded if you look real close, but it’s using the transitional doctype and it fails validation. The gray on white text? Nope. And I don’t see any shiny floors either. To me, it sort of looks like a thin affiliate payday loan site. But hey, it is in beta and it’s free so maybe it is Web 2.0 worthy? Not my call. They say it’s Web 2.0. There are a bunch of domains… not all un-parked yet. Maybe that’s the Web 2.0 part?
Anyway it is an interesting project for sure, because of the big names on the management roster:

Management Team: Ted Leonsis… Steve Case, Lawrence Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary; Russell Hogg, former President and CEO of MasterCard International, Inc.; Franklin Raines, former CEO of Fannie Mae and former director of the Office of Management and Budget; David Pottruck, former CEO of Charles Schwab; David Golden, CFO of Revolution LLC and former Vice Chairman of JPMorgan; Jason Hogg, Founder and CEO of Revolution Money; and Patrick Graf, Co-founder and CTO of Revolution Money. Marshall Group Chairman and CEO Dennis Mathisen is also a founding investor.

With such heavy hitters is almost seems shameful to proclaim it Web 2.0. So well established and impressive, why suffer the Web 2.0 label? Even the worker bee managers are big business:

Hogg was previously a founder of MBNA Canada and chief business development officer at MBNA Canada. He was the COO of Medsite, Inc. and previously President of HorizonLive. Hogg is the son of Russell Hogg, the former President and CEO of MasterCard International Inc., who is credited with launching BankNet, MasterCard’s global packet-switching network. Graf was previously SVP for Q1 Solutions. Hogg and Graf are joined by COO Dax Cummings and CFO Darren Thompson. Cummings is a seasoned veteran who previously ran MBNA’s US Endorsed Card business and served as member of their Management Committee. Thompson was formerly the head of Credit Finance at Fannie Mae and a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs.

That’s some serious pedigree going after online banking via the micropayment route. These guys know how to manage float, and surely they have the acquired taste needed to truly appreciate the sweet taste of slippage. Did I mention they are actually promoting this as a means of “anonymous transactions on the Internet“? It’s in the press release. From what I see you need to tie both ends to bank accounts, so I don’t see the anonymity myself, but I trust Ted Leonsis. If “overthrow the second oldest profession” was on Ted’s ToDo list, this would be the attempt.

Filed under Ted Leonsis and I wish I had screened Nanking.

One Comment

  1. IncrediBILL wrote:

    What is the amazing revolutionary part about it?

    I can transfer money between other members of my bank, back and forth between accounts and cards, so as long as you join my bank, much like you have to join their service, we can do this today.

    I’m mystified where this technology is disruptive to anyone except the marketing department of my bank.

    Tuesday, October 2, 2007 at 3:55 pm | Permalink