Accepting payments online just became a lot easier for small businesses with the launch of Stripe’s new suite of startup tools: Atlas. Designed to remove a lot of the complex red tape that can overwhelm startups in their early stages, other tools available through Atlas let entrepreneurs easily incorporate a company in the US and set up a US bank account, as well as start taking payments in 100 currencies on launch. Another service it’s offering is free guidance on law on taxes in the US from PwC and Orrick to help young teams avoid costly mistakes and oversights that could kill their business.
Stripe’s existing partnerships mean small businesses can accept payments from Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Diners Club, Discover and Japan’s JCB. ACH, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Alipay and Bitcoin are all accepted too. Currently invite-only, Stripe says its working with more than 60 accelerators, investors and partners to funnel hotly-tipped startups through the platform.
“The promise of the internet is that location matters less,” says Stripe. “However, geographic barriers and associated complexity make it difficult to start a global business in many parts of the world.”
Atlas beta will cost $500 including the price of incorporating and opening a business account with payments charged at 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
Founded in Ireland and now based in San Francisco, Stripe has garnered a lot of buzz in the payments industry over the past few years with its tools for developers to easily accept and manage payments on the web and on mobile. The firm has picked up around $300m in funding from a high-profilde coterie of backers including Sequoia, Visa, American Express and Silicon Valley super angels Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, both of whom were co-founders of PayPal. Stripe currently has 397 staff and is expanding fast. Interestingly, 22% of its employees are former founders themselves.
Like most of its peers in the transaction space, Stripe doesn’t talk about the payments volumes its processing except that it’s now processing “billions” of dollars per year for “thousands” of startups and Fortune 500s.
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Stripe, the biggest fintech company in the US, is about to consolidate its position at the top by almost doubling its valuation to $9.2 billion following Series D funding.