Stripe acquires Indie Hackers in bid to strengthen relationship with entrepreneurs

By Ken Yeung for Venture Beat

Stripe has acquired the knowledge-sharing service for entrepreneurs known as Indie Hackers. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Indie Hackers will remain operational as an independent subsidiary. Stripe hopes that this transaction will enable it to strengthen its relationship with startup community and further increase “the GDP of the internet.”

Started by Courtland Allen last year, Indie Hackers is a community where “successful founders could share their valuable stories and insights, and where aspiring entrepreneurs could go for inspiration and advice.” In less than a year, the site had amassed revenue of $6,000 per month, but Allen discovered that his time was being diverted toward trying to fill ad inventory instead of producing content, the original intent of the site.

A Stripe spokesperson told VentureBeat that the company initially approached Indie Hackers as an admirer of what Allen’s team had done. Sensing an opportunity, the payment processing service felt that it could help Indie Hackers out by alleviating the financial burden and allowing Allen to concentrate on ways to help out entrepreneurs.

In a Hacker News thread, Stripe chief executive Patrick Collison offered more details about his company’s investment, writing: “Our goal in acquiring Indie Hackers is to simply ensure that the site becomes as successful as possible. The Stripe upside we’re hoping for is that more companies get started and that they’re more successful. We already see a very large fraction of new internet companies choose Stripe; we’re mainly hoping that Indie Hackers can help us grow the overall number rather than to grow our fraction. (Our product has to do the latter part.)”

This seems to be the modus operandi of Stripe, which is all about providing tools and resources to entrepreneurs to build global businesses, such as its Atlas service. Purchasing Indie Hackers isn’t the first time the company has brought in outside services to benefit its customers — it acquired app prototyping startup Tonic in 2016.

“I’ve always admired Stripe’s ambitious mission to make it easier for entrepreneurs to build and grow their online businesses. The more we talked, the more obvious it became that my joining Stripe would be a huge win for everyone involved, especially the Indie Hackers community,” Allen wrote in a blog post.

He said that under the Stripe banner, he’ll be 100 percent focused on improving Indie Hackers in a manner similar to how Hacker News thrives under Y Combinator. “Over time, Stripe can help grow the Indie Hackers community and spread the stories and insights from experienced entrepreneurs even more widely,” Allen explained.

Allen has been given the title of Indie Hacker at Stripe and will be joined by his brother Channing. In the short term, the team plans on improving Indie Hacker’s community forum and developing more original content. New sponsorships have also been terminated and ads will no longer be run on the site “for the foreseeable future.”