Braintree Raises $35M to Take On Paypal

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Striving to provide a developer friendly platform for mobile payments, Braintree has raised $35 million in Series B financing to give Paypal a run for its money.

The funding was led by New Enterprise Associates, with existing investors Accel Partners, RRE Ventures and Greycroft also participating. The round brings the startup’s total funding to $70 million.

Based in Chicago, Braintree provides an automatic payment solution for merchants and ecommerce sites. Its payment gateway is designed for accessibility and simplicity. The software does more than just process the payments, but provides detailed merchant accounts that compile store data, manage recurring billing and enable single click checkout. The software provides support for mobile and allows for international payments. The company provides a more affordable option for medium to small businesses to better process and understand their mobile payment endeavors.

“Braintree is kicking down both the technology and business roadblocks that have made online and mobile payments challenging for developers and a hassle for consumers,” said Ravi Viswanathan, General Partner of NEA. “We believe Braintree has the strengths to challenge all the incumbents in the payment space, including Paypal.”

In a blog post, Braintree’s CEO William Ready explained how the company wants to democratize the payment technology space by being developer friendly, following a similar approach by Apple.

“We hope to similarly transform payments technology, by building a layer of abstraction on top of the payment networks that lets developers easily access the most sophisticated elements of the payment networks without having to be experts in payments,” Ready blogged. “…With this latest round of financing, our goal remains true to the founding vision that we have been working towards for the past four years: simplify payments. This means we’ll continue to develop elegant, easy to use APIs, as well as stay true to ethical business practices in support of merchants….”

The company annually processes over $1 billion in mobile transactions, and over $5 billion in total payments. The company accepts over 130 currencies. Its services are used in over 30 countries.

The company counts over 3,000 customers that include Rovio/Angry Birds, Animoto, Fab, Uber, Airbnb, 37signals, Heroku, Engine Yard, GitHub,and HotelTonight. The company has been profitable since it began.

Last August, Braintree acquired Venmo, the social payments platform, that served to boost the company’s mobile capabilities. Venmo produces a digital wallet and person to person payments platform that enables users to make payments from a mobile phone number or email address.

Braintree will use this latest funding to improve its online and mobile capabilities, as well as expand internationally and give its US companies larger payment opportunities around the world.

Facing competition from Stripe, Braintree isn’t the only company taking on Paypal. It seeks to provide a simpler, more user friendly alternative that appeals to smaller enterprises, but it has its work cut out. Paypal is a giant in an already crowded mobile payments space, but this latest funding should give Braintree a few stones for its sling.