Braintree, a six-year-old payment processor, says it now handles $10 billion in annual transactions. The milestone comes as the company is steadily growing its international customer base, most recently with the addition of Mojang, the Sweden-based maker of games like Minecraft and Scrolls.
More than $2 billion of Braintree's processing volume is from mobile payments. In addition, more than 25% of its total transactions come from outside the United States, including a number of European-based companies. Hailo, the U.K.-based mobile taxi hailing and payment systems that's now entering the U.S. market, Wrapp, a social gifting app and Tictail, a service for helping people create and manage online stores, are among the European startups that use Chicago-based Braintrees platform.
"Braintree continues to set the pace for innovation in online and mobile acquiring," says Arkady Fridman, a senior analyst at Aite Group. "They are one of the hottest players in the space right now, and the international expansion underscores their success."
It's often difficult for a startup to get on its feet without a bank partner. Since new businesses are risky, many traditional financial institutions are hesitant to work with them, preferring instead to wait a couple of years and review their financial performance first, says Klas Bäck, general manager of international at Braintree.
"Theres a fundamental shortage of good solutions," Bäck says in an interview. "A lot of startups are going the traditional route to start their company, talking to banks but a lot of banks dont want to work with them."
When a startup does begin a bank relationship, it often has trouble finding a processing platform that meets all its needs, especially when its looking to expand its online store internationally. This creates an opportunity for Braintree to offer its developer-friendly platform that enables simple integration of its one-touch purchasing, foreign currency acceptance and mobile payment options. And Braintree keeps its branding out of the checkout, unlike PayPal, so customers can provide an almost white-label experience.
Angry Birds creator Rovio Entertainment, The Economist and AVG Technologies are some of the bigger international companies that chose Braintree to simplify their payment processes and scale internationally quicker, says Bäck.
"The growth weve seen is very much propelled by the strong demand we see from markets outside the U.S.," Bäck says. The company doubles its annual payments every six months, he adds.
"On one hand, were very excited about the growth weve seen in the U.S., but also were very excited to see the amount of innovation going on around the world," Bäck says. "And for us to be a part of that and support it is very exciting."
The platform currently works in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia and the company plans on moving into other markets, including Latin America and Asia Pacific, soon, says Bäck. The company also acquired Venmo in August and on January 31, announced Venmo Touch, its one-click mobile payment application.
Braintree has become a popular startup, attracting top talent from Google, Yahoo, Twitter and Square. Bäck was hired in September after working as an outside consultant for the company for six months. It was during that time when "he got sucked into the story of Braintree and the chance to rebuild the payments system," he says.