Stripe, the online payment and credit card processing platform, is becoming the latest payments startup to expand into business lending. 

The San Francisco company, which is valued at around $23 billion, today announced the formation of Stripe Capital, a lending arm to help fund customers' businesses. Stripe and a soon-to-be announced bank partner will advance funds to customers, who will then repay the loan by giving Stripe a fixed percentage of daily sales. The service will also be available to third parties using the company's Stripe Connect platform.

"Our mission at Stripe is to grow the GDP of the internet. We can do that by helping more entrepreneurs get started, and more internet companies invest in their own growth," says Eddie Serrill, the product lead for Stripe Capital. "With Stripe Capital, businesses can easily access the capital they need to grow."

Business lending seems like a logical expansion for Stripe, which brothers Patrick and John Collison founded in 2009. The company has dedicated itself to empowering other entrepreneurs by simplifying some of the more complicated aspects of starting a business. And borrowing money is a big, and complicated, pain: Many businesses often struggle with the complicated paperwork and tighter lending standards of traditional banks, meaning that many entrepreneurs seek online or alternative financing for their businesses

By entering this market, Stripe is following the example of some of its biggest competitors, including PayPal, which has a market cap of $125.8 billion and a similar Working Capital offering. Square, another onetime payments startup that expanded into business lending, in 2014 launched the similarly-named Square Capital; the company boasts it has now extended over $5 billion. Public companies Lending Club and OnDeck, as well as fintech startups including Kabbage, Fundera, and Funding Circle, also focus on lending to small businesses.

According to an announcement from the company, among Stripe Capital's chief selling points are automated repayment and a data-driven approach to determining the terms of loans based on customers' individual businesses.

Published on: Sep 5, 2019