Rise of Stripe as Platform of Platforms

Stripe started off as a humble payment gateway solution aimed at developers. With just few lines of code, developers were able to integrate a full fledged payment gateway into their apps. They garnered more and more developer love by building dedicatedly for developers by including better documentation, simple lightweight sdks and webhooks for all APIs etc. This entire product paradigm was built on a simple yet powerful insight that it is the end developers who end up integrating the payment gateway into any app and yet most of the other products in the market focussed on business folks or product managers as their tg which reflected in the messaging and product construct.

They found great traction by piggy backing on newer upstart marketplaces like Shopify and building dedicated out of box features for SaaS companies like trial, tiered pricing, cancellation, recurring payments etc. These tactical product manoeuvres allowed them to gain rapid traction which competitors like Paypal and braintree found hard to replicate despite being in market for long time.

Stripe then went ahead to launch a roaster of new products like programmatic payouts, corporate cards , fraud detection product called Radar etc, thus strengthening their strong hold on the entire financial stack. But one of the interesting launch from them was Atlas – which allowed anyone from across the world to incorporate a US Delaware company for a flat fee of $500. Atlas was aligned with their mission of ‘increasing the GDP of the world’

Stripe’s recent product launches in the whole ‘Embedded Finance’ category are true game changers and incredibly timely. Stripe Treasury which is banking as a service – has the ambitions of providing a embedded banking experience in the platforms. This basically elevates Stripe from a platform to a Platform of Platforms. It has already cemented it’s relationship with Shopify by powering Shopify balance – ecommerce giant’s foray into financial services after Shopify capital.

Stripe has played it’s cards well wrt their product strategy and it is not hard to imagine and very well justified that they have been in the market to raise new round at a valuation touching $100B.

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