The company's founders have known each other since the early 1990s, when they worked for Citibank. They met again as employees of Delaware's First USA, where Marino was an executive vice president. He left that position in 2000 and spent some time at home in Maryland trying to figure out his next venture, which turned out to be Bill Me Later.
(The company was known as I4 Commerce until August, when its name was changed to reflect its branding.)
Marino first hired Vince Talbert, who is now the vice president of marketing.
The two did some research and stumbled on the idea of providing later billing for online transactions similar to the way a magazine subscription allows new customers to pay after they've signed up for the service.
"We walked out of [that meeting] high-fiving each other," Talbert said. "We knew we had the essence of the product."
After adding Tom Keithley and Mark Lavelle as founding members, the group obtained its first funding in late 2001. They landed their first customer in 2004.
Since then, the company has grown to more than 200 employees, with more than 700 merchants accepting Bill Me Later payment services. The privately held company has yet to turn a profit, executives said, and they put most revenue back into the business.
Next on the list is figuring out a way to move the service into brick-and-mortar retailers. Bill Me Later is testing a program at several locations, Talbert said - a sort of return to the days when customers strolled into a store, grabbed their goods and directed the clerk to put it on their tab.
"We're trying to create something lasting," Talbert said. "I hope Bill Me Later is something everybody thinks about. That's the ultimate vision, that it will live beyond everybody, beyond me, I hope."
Bill Me Later Inc.
Company offering a credit line and billing services for Internet shoppers, so they can buy now and pay later without using a credit card.
Gary Marino, who previously was a chief credit officer at First USA and Citibank.
estimated at $100 million
More than 700, including Wal-Mart and Airtran Airways
[Source: Bill Me Later]