A new fund targeting startups that build their technology on top of Stripe’s payment platform, presents a real opportunity for Australian startups, Stripe head of Australia/NZ Susan Wu says.
Venture capital firm General Catalyst Partners, an early investor in Stripe, has created a $10 million fund to invest in seed-stage startups, from both emerging and mature markets, operating on Stripe’s application programming interfaces.
“Since our official launch in Australia two month ago, we’ve seen great traction from thousands of innovative businesses embracing Stripe as their payments platform, and we are investing in Australia for the long term,” Wu says.
“We think that some of the world’s next generation of leading startups will come from Australia, and I would love to see Aussie startups apply for funding.”
The Stripe Platform Fund is targeting 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, Xero or Australian startup Canva.
The fund has already made its first investment, $500,000 in Baremetrics a software-as-a-service analytics platform for Stripe.
“Because Stripe was started by founders, for founders, and 22% of our team are former founders themselves, helping startups succeed is part of our core DNA,” Wu says.
“We’re super excited and supportive of General Catalysts Stripe Platform Fund.”
The fund is looking for rapidly accelerating, seed-stage startups who need capital to sustain their momentum. Most investments will range between $US250,000 and $US500,000 ($A288,000 – $576,000).
In a statement announcing the fund, General Catalyst managing partner Hemant Taneja says the firm has watched the development of the Stripe ecosystem with great interest.
“It’s not often that we see the formation of an important new application platform – there are only a few in each decade,” Taneja says.
“Facebook, Apple Salesforce, Microsoft… when it works, it’s a massively potent force. In Stripe Connect we see the potential to build entirely new classes of services that enable businesses to better leverage their payments capabilities and data.”
Startups interested in applying are encouraged to email their one page summary, including team bios, links to the app/site and an overview of your competitive differentiation and sustainable advantages to [email protected].