Why We Invested: PayTheory

Truly Inclusive Digital Payments

3 min readFeb 4, 2022

by Andrew Wegrzyn

What does it mean for financial services and financial technology to be truly “inclusive?” Innovators and entrepreneurs have driven FinTech further into a deepening trend of digital transformation, embedded finance, Buy Now Pay Later, and contactless banking. All these efforts have led to a more frictionless — a more connected financial infrastructure that is purported to benefit all customers. But have these evolutions truly benefitted all customers or are some being left out in our increasingly digital financial world?

While FinTech continues the march to a truly digital world — 20% of the world remains “unbanked.” In the US specifically, estimates between 6–10% of the population is totally unbanked and around 16% of the population is underbanked.

However, in K-12 public schools, underbanked families make up around 30% of the population. As the financial and education systems continue to digitize, this means that 30% of families are at risk of being left behind.

For a family, being left out of the digital financial world can have real world impacts. A lack of access to education, childcare, after-school activities, and healthcare can damage the long-term wellness and health outcomes of the family. While family tech is certainly not a new concept, individual families continue to rely on technology to set themselves up for success. Financial access and indeed being able to pay for vital services is of paramount importance and rises quickly to the top of priorities for families when addressing their education and healthcare needs.

Pay Theory is breaking down barriers that stand between families and their most vital services. Pay Theory represents a truly comprehensive, inclusive financial solution for the family in areas like education, childcare, after-school programs, and healthcare.

By serving a myriad of SaaS vendors within these verticals, Pay Theory provides access for families to their most vital service providers — even those families that prefer to pay in cash or who are unbanked or underbanked.

Pay Theory is the first inclusive payments platform for the growing number of SaaS applications serving vital family service verticals. The company’s mission is to help all families maintain access to vital services by empowering them to pay the bills that most impact their futures. The integrated payments platform accepts all methods of payment electronically, including a digitized cash experience. Through the Pay Theory platform, a family can create a custom barcode, present that barcode at over 60,000 retail locations including CVS and Walmart, and pay in cash for their essential education services. Since Pay Theory enables payments through a variety of methods including cash, their platform improves overall collections for school districts and simplifies life for parents.

SixThirty was excited participate in Pay Theory’s capital raise recently, investing alongside Zeal Capital Partners, Ohio Impact Fund, Sica Ventures, LOUD Capital, Gaingels, and Double Eagle Venture Partners. The veteran team at Pay Theory is led by Brad Hoeweler and Eric Fulkert and is poised to create massive value at the intersection of FinTech and EdTech. SixThrity’s Fund III is honored to support PayTheory and join them on their mission of ensuring that families are not left behind in the digital financial world when paying for services in education, health, and beyond.




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