Gr4vy, (pronounced “gravy”) is a cloud-native payments company with a “payment orchestration platform (POP)” that merges a cloud platform with payments infrastructure. It’s also announcing a Series A funding round of $11.1 million, led by Nyca Partners (a VC with a bench of partners who are ex-Visa ), with participation from Activant Capital (a fintech investor), Global Founders Capital and Firestartr, bringing its total funding to $12.2 million.
So what is Gr4vy tackling here?
Over a video call, John Lunn, founder and CEO of Gr4vy outlined how it works.
He told me that having worked in the payments space since the mid 1990s (Lunn is a veteran of PayPal) he saw the same problem over and over again: Every retailer in the world is building the same piece of software.
He said retailers often start with one payment processor, grow and expand, but basically end up building what is now known as an “orchestration” platform. Essentially it’s like an internal router to route your payments wherever they need to go in the world. But the problem is that it all gradually becomes much more complex to maintain.
He said: “I looked at the problem. I realized we need to create a piece of software that the retailer can run that will mean that payments get out of the way and it all can be managed and orchestrated the way the retailer wants to do it… I thought there are two ways to do this: You can either get an endpoint SaaS to connect to this, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt like that’s actually not the solution here. We needed to give you something that allows do it yourself and fits into your infrastructure. So what we built with Gr4vy is essentially a cloud, where we spin you up an instance of Gr4vy on the cloud, wherever, whatever cloud you need it to be on, whether it’s, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, or even in your own data center. That essentially gives you a platform to manage and control how your payments flow, both on the front end and the back end.”
Thus Gr4vy is quite a new idea: It combines cloud and payment orchestration on one platform.
It says this gives a lot of flexibility for managing a payments stack as a company scales and removes a lot of the risks caused by a single point of failure or shared infrastructure. It also means it can be deployed across geographies, putting “Edges” closer to customers. This, says Gr4vy, means fewer abandoned shopping carts, lost payments and stronger compliance with local regulations. The platform also offers centralized reporting, monitoring and management.
Lunn added: “We are the only payment orchestration platform built natively in the cloud… Retailers can expand and control their payment stack from anywhere. Gr4vy is also payment service provider agnostic. Retailers can mix and match providers, payment methods and route their transactions without being locked into a single ecosystem.”
So, Gr4vy, acts as a conduit between retailers’ shopping carts and payment providers. By offering instances — says the startup — it can give retailers individualized infrastructure in the cloud.
The launch of Gr4vy comes at a key time for online retailers as the world moves from part online shopping to almost 100% online because of the pandemic.
Gr4vy says its benefits include flexibility, customized workflows, a PCI1 Certified Gr4vy vault, a universal API, an easy modern checkout, no-code admin and centralized transaction reports.
Hans Morris, managing partner of Nyca Partners, said in a statement: “Very few people in the world have as much experience and insight in international payments as John and his team. And their vision of what is needed for merchants is spot-on: a cloud-native tool to let businesses orchestrate and optimize their payments using their intuitive interfaces (no engineering!), robust security and simple, seamless implementation. Much easier than managing today’s menu of complex, multiple payment platforms.”
“As investors focused on the future of commerce infrastructure, we’re eager to continue working with John and the Gr4vy team as they simplify payments orchestration for merchants and marketplaces of all sizes,” added Steve Sarracino, founder and partner at Activant Capital.