West Conshohocken-based Ciright to purchase assets of former Ben Franklin investment, GoNow, will rebrand as Ciright One card

Tom Paine

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Ciright Card Services LLC (CCS), an affiliate of the Ciright Companies, West Conshohocken, PA, last week announced that it has entered into a definitive asset purchase agreement with GoNow Technologies LLC , to purchase the business assets of GoNow.

GoNow Technologies had received funding from Ben Franklin Technology Partners SEP, Boston Harbor Angels, Boynton Angles, JumpStart NJ Angel Network, Maine Angels, and St. John's Capital LLC. GoNow received $225,000 from Ben Franklin in late 2012; the other amounts of funding received are not known.

Ciright's purchase price for GoNow, which wasn't disclosed, is a combination of cash and equity. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur by year end, with an interim operating agreement and exclusive intellectual property license between the parties to take effect immediately.

GoNow was founded in 2009 by Doug Spodak (who is no longer with the venture), a veteran of Berwyn-based TruePosition Corp and other technology ventures. Another former GoNow executive, Joseph O’Neill, has agreed to serve as Executive Vice President of Business Development for GoNow. (Correction: Doug Spodak is with Ciright. He has a broad role and set of responsibilities within Ciright's core business that includes sales, account management, business development and product management.)

Joseph Callahan
The Ciright Companies is a West Conshohocken-based entrepreneurial R&D group which also invests in new ventures, often by contributing its proprietary technology in return for an equity stake. It was founded by Joseph Callahan, a North Philly native and Drexel grad, who is Ciright's Chairman and CEO.

CCS has rebranded GoNow as the Ciright One card, which is a microprocessor electronic card. The Ciright One card is a “super smart” card that allows consumers to consolidate all credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards into one dynamic electronic card that communicates with a mobile wallet, Ciright says. "The One card when combined with the One Mobile Wallet app allows consumers to access all of their cards as the One card can become any credit, debit, or stored value card in the One Mobile Wallet “on the fly” which provides the consumer with the flexibility to pay with the One card or their smartphone," according to Ciright.

The One card will be powered by Ciright, which connects One to the cloud, then the cloud to the enterprise environment. Ciright offers an infinitely expandable user-implicit, rule-based platform, the company says.

"We will partner with banks and local credit unions to deliver consumers the most compelling, feature-rich experience with a mobile wallet to manage their financial life," Callahan says.

Strengthening Ciright's hand may be a deadline, pushed by the credit card companies, but not a government mandate, for all merchants and financial institutions to have the ability to handle chip-based "smart cards" by October 1. That deadline will not be meet, but progress is being made.

The card developed by GoNow had previously been piloted with several major banks and a direct to consumer eWallet issue.

Ciright is active in other technology sectors, such as digital signage, for which the company recruited Scala Inc. (West Chester) veteran Jeff Porter to develop a new digital signage delivery system. Ciright also says it has developed a unique cloud-based operating system.

GoNow sounds like a venture with some interesting technology which could not garner a richer Series A round. There are probably going to be a number of these assets available soon, leaving opportunites for companies like Ciright that specialize in minimizing cash use in pursuing its objectives.

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