Stripe leads $38m investment in Irish-founded start-up Imprint

Company founded and led by Daragh Murphy has raised $53m in just 16 months

Imprint founder and chief executive Daragh Murphy. Photograph: Imprint

Imprint founder and chief executive Daragh Murphy. Photograph: Imprint

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Irish-founded branded payment and rewards provider Imprint has raised $38 million (€33.4 million) in a funding round co-led by Stripe.

This brings to $53 million the amount raised to date by the New York-headquartered company, which was only founded in August 2020.

Well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins teamed up with Stripe to lead the Series A funding round. Other backers of the company include Thrive Capital, Affirm, and Allen & Co, as well as former Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, and chat show host James Corden.

Imprint was founded and is led by Daragh Murphy from Clane, Co Kildare. Mr Murphy, who studied law at University College Dublin before moving to New York, previously served as vice-president of operations and strategy at We Work.

Imprint’s first product is a branded payment service that doesn’t require credit checks when payments are being made, charges no interest and has no fees. Imprint claims its solution allows brands to bypass traditional banks and thereby reduce payment costs, with the savings passed on to consumers in a way that boosts customer loyalty.

Consumers get 5 per cent back every time they shop at their favourite brands and 1 per cent back on products and services from other companies.

Imprint’s commerce platform apps and application programming interfaces (APIs) allow brands to be up and running in less than a week, the company says.

Mr Murphy told The Irish Times the branded-payment space has not changed since co-branded credit cards were introduced in the 1990s. These, he said, no longer meet the needs of brands or customers.

“We see an opportunity to provide a branded payment service that reduces costs for brands, while empowering them to offer their customers a brand-centric payments experience and rich rewards,” he said.

The new financing is to be used to support Imprint’s continued growth, market expansion, and partnership development.

Mr Murphy said he believes the solution offered by Imprint is one that can scale internationally.

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

Mr Murphy pointed to the decision by investor Stripe to create hundreds of jobs in Ireland and the news that N26 is considering establishing a base in Dublin as examples of how strong the fintech space is here.

Chris Sperandio, corporate development lead at Stripe, said Imprint offers a great product experience for online brands and commerce platforms.

“As consumers’ purchasing behaviour continues to evolve, it makes sense to offer them merchant-specific cards that are tailored to their environment. We’re excited to partner with Imprint, both by investing in their business and by using Stripe Issuing infrastructure to power their product,” he said.