GoCardless, a fintech that makes recurring payments easy for subscription businesses, raises $22.5M

By Steve O’Hear for Techcrunch

Well, GoCardless co-founder and CEO Hiroki Takeuchi knows how to work a non-denial denial. When I interviewed him a few weeks ago for an extensive profile piece we ran yesterday, he wouldn’t be drawn on if the hot London fintech was raising a new round. Today — and a little earlier than was planned, thanks to an embargo broken by a London regional paper a week early! — the company is announcing new funding.

Once again, Accel, Balderton Capital, Notion, and Passion are backing GoCardless, this time to the tune of $22.5 million and on the back of what the startup says is record annual growth in the U.K. and strong, early traction in new markets. Outside of Blighty, the company operates its bank-to-bank payments network in the Eurozone and Sweden.

Founded in 2011, GoCardless originally went through Silicon Valley’s Y Combinator accelerator but has come a long way since those humble days and after a very early pivot away from group payments. As it exists today, the fintech startup targets companies that need to offer their increasingly international customers the ability to pay by a recurring bank-to-bank transfer, referred to in the U.K. as a Direct Debit.

This, of course, includes various subscriptions and SaaS platforms — an area that has exploded with the internet and things like subscription e-commerce and cloud software. Unlike card payments, bank-to-bank transfers don’t expire. Thus, the GoCardless mission is to help businesses take and settle recurring payments from anywhere, to anywhere, in any currency.

The new funding is designed to enable the startup to make further headway in this regard, eyeing up support for more countries, with Australia and Denmark coming soon, and more to follow.

In a statement, Takeuchi explains: “As more and more businesses become international, they face endless frustrations in managing payments across multiple territories. What we have engineered is a way to simply plug recurring payments into their existing systems, across the world, so they can focus on the challenges that really matter.”

Meanwhile, GoCardless isn’t disclosing revenue. Instead the company says it processes over $4bn worth of transactions across more than 30,000 organisations in the U.K. and Europe, working with small startups and large enterprises across a number of industries. It offers an API and off the shelf integrations with over 100 partners including Xero, Sage and Zuora. Customers include Sage, Thomas Cook, Box and The Guardian.