London-based startup GoCardless has announced raising $13 million in a funding round led by Notion Capital to extend its service to new geographies. The total funding received by the venture has now touched $25 million. Set up in 2011, GoCardless offers an alternative to card payments by offering bank-to-bank payments online, also known as Direct Debit. Launched in 2011, besides UK, it now operates in France and Germany and is expanding into Spain, Netherlands and Sweden. The volume of payments handled by it has grown greatly and now touches £1 billion ($1.4 billion) annually.
GoCardless has created an entirely new type of payment network for accepting recurring payments online by unifying the various Direct Debit networks. Its platform makes it easier for small and large business to accept bank-to-bank payments as an alternative to card payments. It helps in avoiding the pitfalls of card-based payments such as lost, stolen or expired cards. GoCardless payments per transaction can range up to £5,000 in UK while in the Eurozone, the maximum amount for a single transaction is €5,000. The funds are collected from the payer and paid directly into the receiver’s bank account.
It is considered as quite helpful by various businesses. According to the company, over 16,000 merchants are using its platform. These include major brands such as Thomas Cook, The Financial Times, and Trip Advisor.
GoCardless was founded by Tom Blomfield, Matt Robinson and Hiroki Takeuchi. The project, called GroupPay, started out as an attempt to facilitate group payments by making it easier for groups of friends and small organisations to make payments between each other. Later, when they realised that they had built a product with significant enterprise demand, the business was named GoCardless. Co-founder Takeuchi says, “Our vision is to create the first global bank-to-bank payment network.”