Tip or Pay – Bravo

tip or payHusband and wife team Dr. Hector Rodriguez and Maria Luna found it frustrating when they wanted to tip or pay a service provider and didn't have cash. As we move to a more cashless society, it's getting more difficult to pay for things when there's no credit card machine available.  It turns out, there's an app for that and it's called Bravo. The couple created it as a peer-to-peer tipping platform eliminating the need for cash altogether.

Most people tip servers in restaurants. It's easy to do, even without cash: just add a tip to the bill and they can process the credit card. But what about when you want to leave a tip for a tour guide, or a driver and you don't have cash? In those situations, you can tip or pay with Bravo – as long as you AND the person you want to tip has the app.

It works a lot like a peer-to-peer PayPal. If both parties have the app, it's easy to transfer money to each other. Inside the app, there's even a map of area service providers that accept Bravo. It was a success in the couple's native Phoenix and gained acceptance in Austin at the South By Southwest festival. They recently launched in the Los Angeles area and have strong, organic growth there. They likely need a Shark to help them grow and to get some marketing dollars.

My Take on Tip or Pay by Bravo

On its face, this is a great idea. I recall many situations where people like valet parkers and tour guides didn't get a tip from me because I had no cash. I wanted to tip them, but I simply couldn't. This app would solve that, and I like the solution. I might even choose one service provider over another, simply because I know they accept Bravo. I will download and use this app when it's available in my area.

Will the Sharks Say “Bravo” to this Investment?

Rodriguez and Luna are smart people. They own several other successful businesses in the medical field and Hector is a Doctor. There aren't many stupid doctors out there. They grew the company with zero marketing dollars and proved the concept in their own city. These are all things the Sharks will like.

The company makes money through its 2 percent processing fee on each transaction. That's less than a lot of credit card processors charge. The thing is, they need lots of users to become profitable. They must be doing something right because it seems wherever they operate, they find near instant acceptance. The key for Bravo's tip or pay platform is to get ubiquity in the market. There are other tipping apps out there, but theirs seems to be the best.

Any Shark could help accelerate this business to the point of national (or even international) acceptance. Bravo currently employs ten people, so they obviously have big plans. The good thing is, once this business is set up, it's a cash machine. Processing is a low-budget business once the infrastructure is in place. The Sharks will know this and I expect multiple bids.

I think Alex Rodriguez will bid. He bid on Benji Lock (unsuccessfully) in his first guest Shark appearance simply because the entrepreneur was Dominican. A-Rod has a growing business empire and he takes his role as the first Latino Shark seriously. Part of his mission is helping empower Latino entrepreneurs. While I wouldn't classify Dr. Rodriguez or his wife as disadvantaged in any way, shape or form, A-Rod partnering with them is not out of the imagination.

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.


  1. This messages for Hector Rodriguez and Maria Luna. As a fellow boricua and someone who is also trying to follow her dreams in business and entrepreneurship. I am inspired by you guys and I love what you guys are doing. I have downloaded your app and I support all your endeavors and I will be sure to pass it along to anyone that I know. Keep doing what you’re doing. And when you guys get big I would love to be a part of it ☺

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