XIPWIRE, a company that allows customers to transfer cash using their mobile phones, is the only US company currently accepting donations on behalf of WikiLeaks. Based in Philadelphia, the service, which soft-launched earlier this year, quickly built a base in its hometown, catering to restaurants and a host of non-profits -- including Catholic charities and food banks. But its latest campaign under its XIP2GIVE umbrella may prove more high profile and media generating than all of the others combined.
Just 24 hours ago, the company began accepting donations on behalf of WikiLeaks. Although the founders, Sibyl Lindsay and Sharif Alexandre, won't disclose how much they've received in total donations, they will say that hundreds of people have donated, and those donors are making significant gifts to WikiLeaks.
Although the founders have not been able to establish a formal relationship with WikiLeaks yet, they have assured donors that all funds will be kept in an account, and the funds will be transferred once they've made a connection with WikiLeaks directly. "They've been a little hard to get a hold of directly," Alexandre said.
For a startup, having a relationship with a controversial organization like WikiLeaks might pose a PR crisis, but Alexandre isn't worried. He feels that people have the right to donate to whatever causes they want to. And as always, XIPWIRE is just stepping in to serve the needs of their customers. As a part of a statement, Alexandre said "It's a completely different story if they (Wikileaks) were illegal on some level, then definitely that's a line we would not cross."But they haven't done anything different than The New York Times and The Guardian."
Still, even though XIPWIRE is pleasing their customers, one has to wonder if there will be any repercussions from their corporate customers. This is definitely something the founders have given some thought, but they feel they've made the best decision for their company.
"We're fully aware that not everyone likes what Wikileaks is," Alexandre said. "But we are prepared to accept the consequences."