Can a new $10 million fund help create some “killer apps” for online payment service Stripe? One of its investors, venture capital firm General Catalyst, is banking on a larger ecosystem to extend Stripe by launching the GC Stripe Platform Fund. General Catalyst will invest $10 million in venture capital for businesses and applications built on the Stripe Connect platform.
Marketplaces and store builders, for example, use Stripe Connect to let their merchants accept credit cards. The Stripe website explains, “If you’re building a business that connects buyers and sellers, you can use your Stripe account to get everyone paid.” Merchants can also use Stripe Checkout directly to allow them to process credit cards payments on their websites.
When PayPal opened its platform to third-party developers in 2009, it allowed the company to benefit in new areas such as mobile, gaming, fundraising and social networking. Similarly, Stripe can benefit from startups that build their apps using its service to process payments.
General Catalyst explains: “Stripe Connect enables businesses to connect their Stripe account (and their Stripe data) with other services: with a single click, a company can start selling on Twitter, integrate with their web analytics, or access their Stripe data on a mobile device. Applications built on Stripe Connect extend Stripe’s capabilities, and overall make it better and more useful for users.”
Since EcommerceBytes profiled Stripe in January, the online payment service has reached some milestones. In February, it added support for 135 currencies; in March, it added support for Bitcoin; in June, it added support for Alipay to Checkout; and in September, it launched an Apple Pay integration. Stripe also placed first in this year’s EcommerceBytes Sellers Choice awards for online payments.
General Catalyst’s Stripe Platform Fund is focused on two categories:
- startups that are building valuable extensions to the Stripe platform and add value to other Stripe users;
- and marketplaces or platforms that are built atop Stripe Connect, such as BigCommerce or Lyft.
Founders building an innovative business model, marketplace or app on Stripe Connect may simply send an email with a 1-page summary of the company’s vision and focus, a description of the team (including links to LinkedIn profiles and/or GitHub repositories), and a link to the app or product URL to GC_StripeEcosystem@generalcatalyst.com.
The fund has global reach, and is accepting applications from startups in both mature and emerging markets who can accept investments from US based investors.