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Payments disruptor PRIMER hits USD425m valuation after Series B led by ICONIQ Growth

Primer has closed a Series B funding round that values the payments infrastructure startup at USD425 million only 20 months after being founded.

The USD50 million Series B fundraise was led by ICONIQ Growth, a San Francisco based investment firm that has backed global tech companies such as Adyen and Marqeta to Snowflake and Datadog. Existing investors, including Accel, Balderton Capital, Seedcamp, Speedinvest, and RTP Global all participated in the round. 

Primer, which was founded in early 2020 by ex-Paypal/Braintree employees and employs more than 70 people across 20 countries, has built the world’s first automation platform for payments.

Roy Luo, Partner at ICONIQ Growth, who has joined Primer’s Board, says: “Over the past two decades, the pace of new payment solutions entering the market has been accelerating dramatically to support global consumer demand for trends like mobile payments, digital wallets, 1-click checkout, buy now pay later, and so on. However, no one payment solution is close to accommodating all the changes and innovations that merchants need to keep up. So, for merchants’ payment and engineering teams, this dynamic forces immense technical complexity in tying together multiple payment methods, gateways, fraud detection, and more.”

With Primer, merchants can build new and better buying experiences with ease. Plug-in any desired payment solution with 1-click connections, define logic across the entire payment lifecycle with a drag-and-drop workflow editor, and create seamless, “smart” checkout experiences that meet today’s customer expectations. For the first time, merchants can connect and control their entire payments stack, and build their ideal payment flows autonomously from scratch.

Paul Anthony, co-founder at Primer, says: “Our past experience running hundreds of deep-dive technical workshops with some of the biggest online companies like Uber, Spotify and Airbnb, has given us unique insight into the deeply-rooted technical fragmentation that exists in global payments. 

“Primer offers all the underlying infrastructure for merchants to create new, better buying experiences for their customers. But, we’ve barely scratched the surface of how payments automation will disrupt payments for good.

“Our mission is to make payments a first-class product area in any business. ICONIQ Growth shares our expansive vision, so it’s hugely rewarding to add them to our Board as a trusted, experienced partner and advisor.”

Luo adds: “Primer is a team 100 per cent focused on solving that one enormous problem. That’s a quality we look for in businesses we back. We love uncovering such single-minded focus on fixing an important technical challenge. 

“What the team has done to learn from hundreds of merchants while building its technology at pace and scale over the last 20 months is nothing short of phenomenal. We believe Primer’s poised to become the most disruptive force in payments for years and the category leader for payments automation.”

Gabriel Le Roux, co-founder at Primer, adds: “With teams established and merchants live across Europe, Asia and North America, we’re primed to use this investment to expand our already global footprint. We have people deployed in 20 countries but need to grow our teams even more quickly to support the demand we’re seeing among both merchants and the third party services across multiple countries and sectors that want to work with us.” 

Caroline Hjelm, VP of Growth at Voi, Europe’s fastest-growing e-scooter ride platform and an early Primer customer, says: “Crucial to our business success is the ability to expand to new cities and countries seamlessly. Primer has allowed us to add several payment methods without building and maintaining multiple integrations, helping us optimise our checkout experience and expand fast to new markets.”

Primer also creates a whole new, open distribution channel for services across the payments landscape to go-to-market. Any third party developer can build connections to integrate new services, from payment methods and fraud tooling to data warehousing and customer messaging platforms. Merchants simply ‘click and connect’ to the ever-growing list of services from within their Primer dashboard, requiring no additional code. Live connections include, Stripe and WorldPay as well as early adopters Klarna, Stitch Data and GoCardless.

Alex Naughton, Head of UK and Ireland at Klarna, which was one of the first payment methods to connect to Primer in early 2021, adds: “Smooth payments are at the core of what we do and Primer is supporting us in delivering the best payment and shopping experience to our customers. We have been able to minimise integration time and bring our flexible and convenient payment solutions to even more consumers. We are excited about the opportunities ahead and look forward to integrating Primer across more retailers and geographies.”

Primer raised a USD20 million Series A led by Accel in November 2020. 

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