In October 2012, payments company Braintree set aside $2 million from its Series B to court startups to its platform by waiving the processing fees for the first $50,000 in transactions. At the time, the promotion was limited to 1,000 sign-ups. Now a part of PayPal following its acquisition, Braintree is at it again, only this time, that same offer is open to anyone as part of Braintree’s new Ignition program.
The deal is the same as before: companies can begin using Braintree in order to accept and process payments on their website or mobile application, without having to pay fees up until the $50,000 mark. This makes sense for small, early stage startups, explains Braintree’s Chief Executive Bill Ready.
“I think it’s pretty meaningful that we can do this on an ongoing basis,” he says. “It means everyone in the industry can innovate and iterate on their ideas for free.” He adds that the solution would be ideal for startups currently in incubators, or those still bootstrapping, for example. Before, they may have spent thousands in credit card fees during this period, and now they can avoid that.
Of course, the program has another benefit too – it could lure newcomers strapped for cash from considering competing solutions like rapidly growing Stripe, for instance, in the hopes that eventually some of these freeloaders would grow to become larger, paying customers. The company currently charges the standard 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction in fees, and counts Uber, Airbnb, HotelTonight, Rovio’s Angry Birds, Twilio, Poshmark, and many others among its customer base.
Though the payments market is very competitive, Ready says that Braintree has continued to grow faster than ever before, with every month now its best ever. While he couldn’t discuss hard numbers because of its corporate parent eBay, Braintree had over $12 billion in transactions at the time of its acquisition, and had been tripling its business year-over-year based on public figures released in that past. It now has “thousands” of startups on its platform, and has grown its staff to around 300.
In the future, Ready says they’ll be able to do more thanks to the relationship with PayPal, hinting also at something “great around the mobile purchasing experience” in the works, presumably meaning an update to Venmo Touch. He noted that one of Venmo’s stronger suits was not just that it was mobile, but social as well. That’s something payments companies – including PayPal – don’t tend to focus on. But Braintree will need to act soon – Stripe yesterday publicly debuted its own new, one-click checkout experience on web and mobile, which already has thousands of deployments and has handled millions of transactions.
Interested companies can sign up for Ignition here, starting today at 8 AM PT.