San Francisco based payments start-up stripe.com is making waves stateside with a stonking $20m series B round of funding, according to Techcrunch. Stripe investors now include veteran VC legends Sequoia and Redpoint as well as PayPal founders Peter Thiel, Max Levchin and Elon Musk.
Stripe bills its service as “payments for developers” and such a fundraising round is striking for a company that has hitherto seemed somewhat under the radar. Stripe says on its website: “you don’t need a merchant account or gateway. Stripe handles everything, including storing cards, subscriptions, and direct payouts to your bank account.”
Even as Tamebay’s Mr Grumpy (very much the heir to Sue in that regard) I sniff something significant here. The gang at Stripe are, at the very least, impressive. And if they seem youthful, I just pinch myself and recall the actor who plays Doctor Who these days is under 30. And younger than me.
It is particularly fascinating, as Techcrunch points out, that three out of five of PayPal‘s co-founders have invested in this company. I think we’ll be hearing more from Stripe. And my goodness, hurrah for that. The payments space needs a bloody good kick up the arse, so they are very welcome.
PayPal has been slow to innovate in the decade since it was acquired by eBay. It ruminates arrogantly in the lazy pool of dominance, looks tired and feels moribund to me. The user experience is so cumbersome as to be sluggish and hasn’t changed for years. Could Stripe be the Young Pretender?
Any first hand experiences of stripe.com would be fascinating to hear about. In any case: watch this space.