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WePay has big 2011, still hopes for 'balls to the wall' 2012

The Silicon Valley online payments startup grew by 1,000 percent last year and is hopeful it can repeat that level of growth this year. To do that, it's had to move away from its early friends-and-family roots and embrace small businesses.

WePay CEO Bill Clerico explains the Silicon Valley payment company's growth at a staff meeting last fall.
Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Most companies would be happy with 1,000 percent growth in one 12-month period. At the online payments company WePay, they're shooting for back-to-back years like that.

Late this evening, WePay released a set of statistics showing that it had a very good 2011. Among the most notable figures was that the Palo Alto, Calif., company hit the 1,000 percent growth mark in revenue, users, and total payment volume.

And according to co-founder and COO Rich Aberman, WePay believes it can hit those same milestones in 2012.

That the company feels so bullish should come as no surprise. Late last year, CEO Bill Clerico told CNET that WePay was planning on adopting a "let's go crazy, go balls to the wall" growth plan that relied on existing funding, user energy, and an aggressive hiring plan.

Clerico photographs a whiteboard on which he has written out WePay's aggressive growth plan for 2012. Daniel Terdiman/CNET

Now, Aberman said, the company sees its exponential growth trajectory continuing unabated in 2012, aided by more partnerships with small- and medium-size businesses, and more awareness that it is a player in an increasingly crowded payments field currently dominated by PayPal.

Aberman said that the key to the company's great 2011 was its moving away from its original strategy of being an easy way for friends and family members to send each other payments and going strongly after small businesses. WePay will pursue that strategy even more aggressively this year, he said.