As it plots its expansion, payments tech developer Stripe is also building expertise via acquisition. It recently purchased Kickoff, a task management and collaboration application designed for teams.

"We don't plan on using Kickoff directly, but it gives an indication of how good they are product design and engineering. They'll be working on a variety of Stripe products," says John Collison, who founded Stripe with his brother Patrick.

Kickoff allows users to create lists, share files and send messages to each other. It was founded by Benjamin De Cock and Michael Villar, who will continue to operate the app after joining Stripe. 

"Ben and Michael are two of the best product minds and designers/engineers we've had the good fortune to meet," says Collison. The pair will work on projects such as Stripe Connect, which allows operators of any website to accept credit card payments and perform analytics on payments data.

Stripe is also expanding geographically, and has raised about $38 million from a number of Silicon Valley VC companies and PayPal founder Max Levchin, whose own payments startup, Affirm, uses Stripe for processing.

"About a year ago, I started designing for Stripe a freelancer. As my experience with Stripe evolved, we talked about ways to work together and eventually decided that it made sense for Stripe to acquire Kickoff," wrote De Cock on his blog.

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