As promised earlier this summer, the Accel-backed payments platform Braintree is opening up its doors to non-U.S. merchants for the first time, with the launch of its service across Europe and in Canada. As of today, merchants in 27 countries can access the company’s payment gateway, recurring billing, and vault credit card storage features. They will also be able to accept payments in over 130 different currencies, the company says.
Braintree, for those unfamiliar, operates something of a one-stop shop for managing the acceptance of payments. It offers businesses a merchant account, gateway, billing and PCI compliance solutions tailored to the specific use cases the business needs. This has attracted the attention of several companies in the startup industry, including customers like LivingSocial, 37Signals, OpenTable, Fab.com, GitHub, Airbnb, Heroku, Engine Yard, Animoto, Shopify, Uber, Angry Birds, LevelUp, and HotelTonight, for example. Like its competitors, including WePay and others, Braintree has also seen a lot of its customers migrating over from PayPal.
Last June, Accel put $34 million into this startup, which had not raised any funding previously. At the time, the company said that its sign-ups were coming in through word-of-mouth recommendations – it didn’t have outbound sales reps. A year later, the company had over 2,000 merchants on its system, and is now processing over $4 billion in credit card transactions annually, including around $1 billion in mobile payments. It has also grown its team from 30 to nearly 100 (including newly acquired Venmo), mostly in engineering, but also with some sales and support team additions. According to Bill Ready, CEO of Braintree, support is a key focus because it’s one of the biggest differentiators between Braintree and the competition. “We aspire to provide Zappos-like customer service,” he says of its importance.
Ready also tells me that the company’s business has been more than doubling every year even before going international. “Nearly two-thirds of the leads we get every month are from international companies that are desperately looking for better payment tools,” he says. “We believe the international opportunity will be even bigger than what we’ve been doing here in the U.S.” He adds that the international growth will be both from international companies signing up for Braintree, as well as from U.S. companies that want to take their own businesses to overseas markets.
The full list of supported countries now includes the following:
the U.S., the U.K., Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Ireland, and Italy.
Other countries will be added as well, but Braintree may face additional regulatory challenges, which is why they might not have been in the first rollout. Which countries or a specific timeframe to launch could not be given.
As for what’s next, look to the Venmo acquisition for clues, it seems. “Expect lots more to come from Braintree and Venmo that will make it extremely easy for developers to accept mobile payments and for consumers to shop and buy with their mobile phones,” Ready teases. Venmo, as you may remember, offered a digital wallet and mobile payments app. That startup, however, was more consumer-facing, while Braintree is focused on developers. At the time of the acquisition, the company said it would integrate Venmo’s technology into its own, allowing anyone with a Venmo account to make both online and mobile purchases. No word yet on when those integrations will complete, so stay tuned.