Payments Platform Braintree Raises $35M From NEA, Accel To Take On PayPal And Square


Braintree, an online payments gateway provider for online and mobile platforms, has raised $35 million in Series funding led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from existing investors including Accel Partners, RRE Ventures and Greycroft. This brings Braintree’s total funding up to $70 million.

For background, Chicago-based Braintree powers and automates online payments for merchants and companies online. The company provides a merchant account, payment gateway, recurring billing, credit card storage, support for mobile and international payments, and PCI Compliance solutions.

Braintree’s client list includes Rovio/Angry Birds, Uber, 37signals, OpenTable, Fab, GitHub, Airbnb, Heroku, Engine Yard, Animoto, Shopify and HotelTonight. The company is seeing $1 billion a year in mobile transactions and $5 billion in total payments annually for over 3,000 mobile and online merchants. Currently, Braintree works with merchants in more than 30 countries and is able to accept more than 130 different currencies.

For Braintree, the new funding is going to help the company take on giants in the digital payments industry like PayPal. “We think we can build the next PayPal,” says Braintree’s CEO, Bill Ready. “The payments game will be won or lost in next few years, and we need the resources to push the company forward aggressively,” he explained in an interview.

The new funding will be used to build out Braintree’s payments product, for hiring engineering talent in the Bay Area, New York and Chicago, and for additional international expansion.

Ready explains that Braintree differs from PayPal in that it offers a comprehensive, full-featured payments processing platform for both small startups and large companies, like Fab, which is processing hundreds of millions in transactions. He says that traditionally, a small business would start with PayPal, then graduate to (owned by Visa), and would move onto Cybersource processing when the company would have tens or hundreds of millions in payments revenue. But Ready says there is a huge opportunity to service the full range of companies, and that’s what makes Braintree distinct.

“We are taking sophisticated payments capabilities and making them accessible to startups and big companies, and when small businesses grow into larger organizations, we will have everything they need,” says Ready.

Over the past few months, Braintree has been heads down on making its product as useful to merchants as possible. The company expanded to mobile, added support for one-click checkout, cut fees, and eased the sign-up process. In fact, Braintree removed a $100 monthly fee for developers, and starting matching fees of rivals with 2.9 percent rate and $.30 per transaction. Additionally, the company has made some key hires from Google.

The company also highlights Braintree Instant, which gives merchants instant access to a full suite of payments tools, such as international payments and single click checkout, which used to be available to only the largest of merchants after months-long integrations to legacy payment providers. Braintree Instant also aids cash flow by typically providing funds within two days, versus a week or more for others in the industry.

“We are working to do for payments and e-commerce what Apple did for mobile: providing a developer-friendly platform that sparks a new wave of innovation and company-building, ” Ready adds.

But in order to take on payments companies like PayPal and Square, Braintree has to engage the consumer as well. That’s where the company’s Venmo acquisition comes in. In August, the company acquired the New York-based startup, which is disrupting social payments by allowing people to send money to friends via a mobile app.

Venmo, which remains based in New York as a standalone app, is the basis for Braintree’s consumer business. “This will become the slickest way for consumers to make payments to merchants,” says Ready. We’re building a better PayPal on the merchant side, and a better PayPal on the consumer side.”

“Braintree is kicking down both the technology and business road blocks that have made online and mobile payments challenging for developers and a hassle for consumers,” said Ravi Viswanathan, General Partner of NEA, said in a release. “We believe Braintree has the strengths to challenge all the incumbents in the payment space, including PayPal. This investment reflects our confidence in the technology, team and international capabilities Braintree has built.”

As part of the news today, NEA is also opening up a Chicago office to be closer to its investments in the Windy City.

As we’ve recently reported, the payments space is heating up and all the players, including Square and PayPal, are gearing up for the battle. Square just landed a huge deal with Starbucks and closed $200 million in new funding. PayPal is also trying to reinvent itself. New entrant, Stripe, has also been making waves in the industry. And now with Braintree’s new funding, we can expect there to be one more player who is vying for a piece of the payments pie.

More TechCrunch

Ahead of the AI safety summit kicking off in Seoul, South Korea later this week, its co-host the United Kingdom is expanding its own efforts in the field. The AI…

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

8 hours ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

2 days ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

2 days ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities