Stripe backs Irish-founded fintech Imprint in $38m funding round

17 Nov 2021

Image: © Gorodenkoff/Stock.adobe.com

Daragh Murphy, co-founder and CEO of Imprint, said he ‘wouldn’t rule out’ opening an office in Dublin.

Imprint, a branded payments start-up headquartered in New York, has raised $38m in Series A funding led by VC firm Kleiner Perkins. It also received backing from Stripe and chat show host James Corden, among others.

Founded last year by Irishman Daragh Murphy and Gaurav Ahuja, Imprint aims to make it easier for consumers to shop with the brands they love and receive rewards. The Imprint branded rewards card lets customers make payments to brands without credit checks, interest or fees.

Future Human

Murphy graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) more than a decade ago and headed to Duke University in the US for a master’s in law. In 2018, he went on to become the VP of operations and strategy at workspace provider WeWork, before founding Imprint in 2020.

“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,” said Murphy, who is based in New York and serves as the CEO of Imprint.

He said that this provides an opportunity to provide a new kind of branded payment service that benefits both brands and customers. Consumers get 5pc back every time they shop with their favourite brands and 1pc back on products and services from other companies.

“We’re seeing a generational shift away from credit cards, and we’ve built an inclusive product that offers almost 100pc of customers access to great rewards and customised experiences at their favourite brands,” Murphy added.

‘Shifting the payments paradigm’

The latest financing round brings the total funding raised by Imprint to $53m. Some of its other backers include Thrive Capital, Affirm, Allen & Co, Goldman Sachs chair Lloyd Blankfein, and the CEOs of a number of consumer brands.

Essentially, Imprint helps brands cut out actors in the middle by redirecting profits traditionally captured by legacy banks back to brands and their customers. This can boost customer loyalty, according to Imprint co-founder and chair Ahuja, who is also a partner at Thrive Capital.

“Payments and credit cards generally have been a zero-sum game for brands and customers alike. Imprint is focused on shifting the payments paradigm to positive-sum for brands and their customers,” he added.

Chris Sperandio, corporate development lead at Stripe, said that Imprint offers a “great product experience” for commerce platforms. “As consumers’ purchasing behaviour continues to evolve, it makes sense to offer them merchant-specific cards that are tailored to their environment.”

Dublin and international plans

Murphy told the Irish Times that Imprint is scalable and that an international expansion, including in Ireland, cannot be ruled out. “Our goal right now is on delivering well in the US market, but that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t look further afield in the future,” he said.

“I certainly wouldn’t rule out opening an office in Dublin given the amazing engineers based there and the talent emerging from universities.”

Discussing the strength of the fintech space in Ireland, Murphy referred to Stripe’s decision to create hundreds of jobs in Dublin and German bank N26 considering the establishment a base in the city.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com