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Summary:

The online payments firm has finally broken out of North America. However, in the time it’s taken to properly enter the European market, clone shop Rocket Internet has built a very strong competitor in the form of Paymill.

Stripe, payments
photo: Stripe

The payments company Stripe has officially moved beyond North America, taking itself out of beta in the U.K. on Thursday. The move means Stripe supports the British pound and the euro for the first time.

Stripe is a rival to the likes of PayPal and Braintree, in that it offers startups a way to embed payments functionality in their services. Stripe’s big selling point is its ease of integration – all it requires is the insertion of a few lines of code.

The service has been in beta in the U.K. since the start of March this year, and it remains in beta for now in Ireland, France and the Netherlands. British customers who have signed up during that beta period include Virgin Pure and Thread.com.

However, Stripe is not without direct competition in Europe. The company, which was founded in 2011, saw its product cloned a year ago by Berlin’s notorious Rocket Internet in the form of Paymill, which raised $13 million in January of this year and a further $5.3 million in February.

Paymill has closely, shall we say, tracked Stripe’s development. When Stripe modified its service to support online marketplaces in June, Paymill did the same in July (although to be fair, Braintree also followed suit a few days ago). Paymill has also used Stripe’s absence to steam ahead of it across Europe – and with execution experts Rocket having raised yet another $500 million on Wednesday (seriously, these guys attract money like flowers attract bees), there’s no reason to think they’re going to start slacking off anytime soon.

That’s not to say Stripe is necessarily too late, though. It carries with it the cachet of having clients such as Foursquare and Grooveshark, it supports e-commerce platforms such as Shopify (as does Paymill, admittedly) and Bigcommerce, and it has partnerships with British accountancy platforms FreeAgent and Kashflow.

Stripe has already set up an office in London (it’s hiring) and has its sights set on the rest of Europe, and also Australia. So really, it’s game on now.

  1. Stripe unlike Paymill does have the advantage that it just works and you don’t have to battle German bank application forms…

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  2. I agree that Stripe seem to be managed by people who knows real life and not monkeys coming from big schools who know nothing about the real thing…

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  3. Georgia Hanias Monday, September 9, 2013

    judo payments http://www.judopay.com is the real competitor to watch. They have already launched their mobile payments processing application in the UK and are working with app developers in Tech City. Techcrunch revealed that they received $5million in funding too http://techcrunch.com/2013/07/15/judo-payments-secures-5m-for-its-mobile-focused-card-processing-platform/

    The company recently launched a £1 million pound competition for app developers – winners get free mobile payments processing for a year.

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