Imprint Raises $38 Million From Kleiner Perkins and Stripe
So far, 2021 has brought plenty of FinTech funding rounds — but one of the latest also happens to be one of the most unique. Earlier this week, the branded payments platform Imprint announced that it had raised $38 million. The Series A was led by Kleiner Perkins but also included participation from fellow FinTech Stripe. To date, Imprint has now raised a total of $53 million. Past investors in the startup include Allen & Co, Affirm, and late-night host James Corden among others.
Imprint is a platform that allows brands and retailers to create rewards cards for customers. For example, customers can earn 5% back on purchases they make from the brand itself while also earning 1% back when they use their card for other purchases. Additionally, businesses can create branded payment buttons for use on their e-retail sites. According to the company, this not only helps improve customer loyalty but also reduces payments fees. In fact, Imprint’s site notes that its branded payment buttons can help cut retailer payment costs by up to 90%.
Sharing the idea being Imprint, co-founder and CEO Daragh Murphy said in a statement, “The branded-payment space has not changed since co-branded credit cards were introduced in the 90s and no longer meets the needs of modern brands and modern customers. We see an opportunity to provide a branded payment service that reduces payments costs for brands, while empowering them to offer their customers a brand-centric payments experience and rich rewards.” Murphy continued, “We’re seeing a generational shift away from credit cards, and we’ve built an inclusive product that offers almost 100% of customers access to great rewards and customized experiences at their favorite brands.”
Stripe’s corporate development lead Chris Sperandio said of Impact, “Imprint offers a great product experience for online brands and commerce platforms, in particular. As consumers’ purchasing behavior continues to evolve, it makes sense to offer them merchant-specific cards that are tailored to their environment. We’re excited to partner with Imprint, both by investing in their business and by using Stripe Issuing infrastructure to power their product.”
While it’s notable that Imprint’s Series A included participation from both a VC and a FinTech, it’s also worth pointing out that the startup’s co-founder is a VC himself. Gaurav Ahuja, who also serves as chairman of the company, is a partner at Thrive Capital. That firm has previously invested in such companies as Plaid, Robinhood, and several others — not to mention also investing in Imprint.
With the backing of Stripe alongside traditional venture capital firms, Imprint definitely seems set up for success. As a result, it wouldn’t be surprising if their next funding round (or perhaps the one after that) topped $100 million. Regardless, Imprint is an interesting FinTech that will surely be one to watch going forward.