Speedinvest Blog

Supercharging Merchants’ Payments: Our Investment in Primer

May 11, 2020


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Anthony Danon

Payments are complicated.

Behind the scenes of a seemingly straightforward consumer experience lies a coordination burden. This is borne largely by merchants who are becoming increasingly sophisticated in what they seek from their payments solution.

To optimise for cost, performance and scale, online merchants integrate multiple payment services, resulting in a fragmented ecosystem with limited underlying infrastructure, one in which merchants need to leverage a variety of PSPs (e.g. Adyen, Braintree, Stripe), bespoke payment methods (e.g. GoCardless, Klarna, WeChat) and 3rd party services (e.g. fraud prevention, BI, loyalty, etc) to offer the payments experiences their customers want.

Implementing and managing these ecosystems is a significant technical and operational challenge, often resulting in “spaghetti code” which is very difficult to maintain, creates data silos and blurred visibility. In an attempt to offer customer choice, merchants curtail their own flexibility due to infrastructure complexity.

Merchants want to be empowered to take control of their payments ecosystems while avoiding the infrastructure burden. Now, more than ever, they are realising:

  • instances of PSP-failure resulting from dependency risk;
  • a need to comply with new regulatory requirements on the horizon, such as 3DS 2.0; and
  • a desire to adapt and cater for new innovations such as Open Banking (PISP).
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Enter Primer —

A unified API enabling merchants to consolidate their fragmented payment ecosystems for global reach. Primer consolidates both front and backend payment flows in a single integration, replacing all the work merchants would otherwise have to do themselves. Merchants can activate the payment processors and payment methods they want, become sophisticated in data management, and unify reporting and reconciliation. They can centrally manage all transactions (e.g. refunds, voids, chargebacks) and can unlock scale to pursue their global payment strategies.

With Primer, making changes and improvements becomes as easy as a switch of a button.

At the macro-level, Primer is accelerating the shift into a new paradigm for payments; decoupling services and re-bundling for a truly flexible, PSP-agnostic future.

The Primer Team
The Primer Team

None of this would be possible without an exceptional founding team. In some ways, Paul and Gabriel are the ideal duo. They bring very complementary capabilities and deep payments expertise. They met at Braintree/PayPal where they worked together across sales and technical solutions in capturing and servicing global mid-market and large enterprise merchants. That’s where they were exposed to the challenges merchants face in building out complex payment systems, which is driving their passion to solve them.

Paul heads up Product & Engineering. He brings a stellar background in building payment systems, as one of the first employees and CTO of retail finance provider, Dekopay and more recently as Head of Solutions for EMEA at Braintree/PayPal, working with the world’s largest merchants to optimise their payments strategies. Gabriel leads Business Development and Strategy. He brings an unparalleled understanding of merchants needs and a deep network. He joined Braintree/Paypal in 2015 as one of the earliest European sales members, where he was tasked with scaling Braintree across Europe. He then shifted to product, working on Braintree’s commerce tools in San Francisco.

Since investing, the team has managed to bring onboard rare talent that is building at rocket speed. A remote-first team that is laying the foundations for a truly scalable, data-driven and values-oriented organisation. I have been particularly blown away by their systematic way of gathering, processing, disseminating and translating customer feedback into build. Their depth of payments understanding, industry credibility and network is a core competitive moat which allows them to open the right doors and is proving even more valuable in the current Zoom-centered Covid-19 times we live in.

At Speedinvest, we are humbled to have backed the Primer team since its inception, alongside our friends at Seedcamp and Kima. We are delighted to now welcome Rob Moffat and the entire Balderton Capital team who bring years of experience backing and supporting some of the most prominent infrastructure, payments technology and fintech companies. We are excited more than ever to be supporting Gabriel, Paul and the entire Primer team to bring a new paradigm in merchant payments technology.

Can’t wait for the journey ahead — onward 🚀

For more, visit Primer.

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