Stripe leads $35m round for New York payments start-up Check

29 Jan 2021

Stripe co-founder and CEO Patrick Collison on stage. Image: Stripe

The deal marks Stripe’s second big start-up investment this month as it boosts its backing of young payments firms.

Stripe has led a $35m funding round in payments start-up Check as the fintech company ramps up its investment strategy.

New York-based Check builds payroll software. It was only founded in 2019 but has now raised $44m from investors, which include Thrive Capital and Bedrock Capital.

The deal marks the latest move in an investment spree by Stripe, as the Collison brothers’ company led a $102m round in San Francisco payments start-up Fast earlier this week. Stripe has invested in many fintech start-ups in recent years, including Monzo, Paymongo, Step and Pilot.

Check’s founders were previously behind Oyster, a ‘Netflix for books’ subscription service that was acquired by Google in 2015. Check builds APIs for integrating payroll features into other software suites like ERP and HR software.

“We built Check to enable innovation in the way people get paid, and I’m thrilled to share our public launch,” chief executive Andrew Brown said this week. “With Check, developers can now build wage payments into their apps just as easily as accepting an online payment.”

Chris Sperandio, from corporate development at Stripe, said Check is “uniquely suited to continue innovating in this domain and make paying people simple”.

“Check has developed an elegant solution that abstracts complexity, reduces risk and removes friction in the payroll process that every company has to navigate,” he added.

Investments such as these may help Stripe keep its finger on the pulse of what it is happening among start-ups in the payment space. It may also give the company a heads up on start-ups that might be worth acquiring later down the road.

It most recently acquired Nigerian payments start-up Paystack for $200m, after previously leading its Series A funding round. In 2019, Stripe bought Dublin’s Touchtech Payments for an undisclosed amount.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin