American crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, leaves Amazon for Stripe, an online payment service known for its flexibility and ease of setup. Stripe is currently running beta test of Bitcoin support, which the startup expects to exit this month.
Kickstarter, a popular crowdfunding platform used by artists and inventors to raise funds for projects, announced in a blog post it had partnered up with Stripe for a "simpler, faster and easier checkout process" for creators as well as backers. Project creators will no longer need to create an Amazon Payments business account and wait few days for approval.
"Instead, you’ll just enter your bank account details on the Account tab when you’re drafting your project on Kickstarter," explained the company. "It takes about two minutes, whereas the old way could take a few days."
Kickstarter said it should be fully transitioned to Stripe by next week and is keeping its current fee structure as 5% fee to the total amount of funds raised. Stripe, its new payments processor, will apply credit card processing fees amounting at around 3-5%.
Kickstarter had been working with Amazon Payments ever since the year preceding its launch in 2009. Kickstarter said Amazon Payments had been an excellent business partner and had processed over US$1 billion in pledges for the crowdfunding platform.
Kickstarter was using Amazon Flexible Payments, a payment system allowing project backers to be charged only when a campaign hits its fundraising goal. In late 2014, Amazon announced it would discontinue the service, leading Kickstarter to reexamine the options available for online payments processing service and opted for Stripe.
Launched in 2011, Stripe is a San Francisco-based online payments startup known to be a fervent Bitcoin supporter. Stripe announced its beta test of Bitcoin support in March 2014, and is expecting to come out of beta later this month with a fee of 0.5% per transaction. Kickstarter has not indicated if it would accept Bitcoin for pledges.
In addition to Kickstarter, Stripe also handles purchases on Facebook, Twitter and helps drive Apple Pay. In early December 2014, Stripe announced an additional funding round of US$70 million. Thrive Capital joined in existing investors Sequoia Capital, General Catalyst, Founders Fund and Khosla Ventures, in the funding round, raising the startup valuation from US$1.75 billion to US$3.5 billions, reported the Financial Times.