Posted by Tom Foremski - March 22, 2010
Payment apps are hot, this month's Wired magazine has an excellent feature on why they are hot. And PayPal is leading the way with its API.
Today at the DEMO conference, the winners of the PayPal X Developer Challenge were announced.
The $100,000 winner: Rentalic, which lets you rent anything you want to anybody.
The $50,000 winner: appbackr, a wholsesale marketplace for iPhone apps.
More info here: PayPal X Web site
Rentalic is an online person to person marketplace for owners to rent anything that they own, from vacation properties to camping equipment. Rentalic uses PayPal's preapproval API to validate that a customer has sufficient funds for a rental fee and deposit in a PayPal account before making a reservation. After the borrower returns the item or property back to the owner, the owner can provide feedback on the Rentalic site and fully or partially refund the deposit with the click of a button. Rentalic automatically takes a percentage of each rental.
Appbackr is the first wholesale digital marketplace for iPhone applications. Developers can pre-sell units of their iPhone applications to wholesale buyers before the apps appear in the iTunes App Store. Built on the PayPal X platform and using the parallel payments and preapproval APIs, developers get paid immediately for their app and the "appbackrs" earn a profit when the units sell on the iTunes Store.
There were 650 submissions and the winners were decided by popular vote and a panel of judges: "Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman of eBay Inc.; PayPal president Scott Thompson; Marc Andreessen, eBay board member and general partner of Andreessen/Horowitz; Scott Cook, eBay board member and co-founder Intuit Inc.; and Sequoia Capital's Roelof Botha."
PayPal said more than 25,000 developers have signed up to use its API since it was made available in November 2009.