Making sense of Stripe’s slow India push

Stripe, among the world’s most-valued startups, has been in India for four-five years now but is yet to make a mark. Will an acquisition, a few investments and a couple of high-profile appointments change that perception?

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By 

Pratik Bhakta

October 27, 2021

9 Min Read

Stripe is finally and earnestly gunning for a piece of India’s fast-growing digital payments market, but it may prove an uphill task even for the world’s most-valued financial services startup. 

After remaining on the periphery since beginning operations in India five years ago, the IPO-bound global payments major recently announced data localization capabilities, senior management hires, and a slew of deals to carve space for itself in India’s hyper-competitive and low-margin digital payments market.

Stripe recently struck two strategic investments in India. It led a $75-million series C funding in fintech firm Clear (formerly Cleartax) days after acquiring Recko for an undisclosed sum. A source familiar with the Recko deal pegged the purchase price at $85 million.

Stripe, last valued at a massive $95 billion, is present in 46 countries with a suite of products suitable for internet businesses. In India, in addition to its core payments products, it will introduce Stripe Billing and Stripe Connect as well as automated reconciliation capabilities developed by Recko, said a startup founder familiar with the company’s plans. It will eventually also offer tax compliance to merchants through its investment and future collaboration with Clear, this person said.

“These two strategic deals are the beginning of a more focussed action from Stripe. We feel they will bring in more localized products for Indian merchants over the next one year,” the founder said.

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