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Stripe expands its ecosystem into lending, adds Funding Circle as a partner

  • Stripe is focused on expanding its reach with customers.
  • The payments firm offers integrations that extend its functionality.
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Stripe expands its ecosystem into lending, adds Funding Circle as a partner
Stripe has bigger vision than just powering payments. Through its partnership program, Stripe is building out an ecosystem of related services and technologies to service its customers. The payments company just added Funding Circle to its list of verified partners, making it easier for Stripe customers to apply for small business loans. As a verified extension partner, Funding Circle now enables users to import their Stripe data directly to apply for a business loan up to $500,000. Extension partners help existing Stripe customers do more with their accounts, like analytics, accounting, emails, shipping and taxes. Funding Circle is the first lender in the Stripe ecosystem. “We’re excited to welcome Funding Circle into our vibrant ecosystem of partners that amplifies the value of Stripe to our users,” said Vicki Lin, Head of Ecosystem, Stripe. “With this partnership, Funding Circle will reach the millions of businesses on Stripe to provide more effective options for financing, and will help us in our mission to increase the GDP of the internet.” Stripe Verified Partners undertake a verification process intended to ensure confidence in the quality of the partner’s integration with Stripe. Verified Partners receive enhanced benefits, including access to millions of Stripe users through a listing on the “Works with Stripe” gallery, exclusive invites to product betas, and dedicated partner support. Stripe is following a model pioneered by Intuit and its QuickBooks Online ecosystem. The more extensions and integrations Stripe offers, the more value customers extract beyond payment processing. This creates a virtuous circle: Stripe customers extend the use of their Stripe account through external integrations, which builds loyalty to the platform and works to further entrench Stripe in its customers' businesses. Lenders appreciate integrations with payment companies. In addition to access to their user base, getting at payment data helps lenders make better and quicker loan approval decisions. Integrations like this one also help small businesses speed up the loan application process by prefilling their data. "Successful fintechs are constantly trying to get more value from current customers, and one of the easiest ways is to partner with another company to offer a new product based on the vast customer data that’s been already collected and evaluated," said Josh Liggett, investment analyst and fintech lead at OurCrowd. "Similar to previous partnerships between N26 and Transferwise or Alibaba and Kabbage, a Stripe-FundingCircle partnership makes life easier for Stripe customers and should benefit both companies." To date, U.S. small businesses have borrowed $1.9 billion through Funding Circle. Globally, investors have lent $8.6 billion to 62,000 small businesses through Funding Circle.

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