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E-commerce giant Amazon could be facing an EU investigation over its online practices. Bloomberg has reported that the outgoing European commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager, is expected to open a formal investigation into whether the company is misusing marketplace sales as a way of undercutting smaller stores.

This follows on from the news last September when the European Commission (EC) said that it was to begin an investigation into Amazon. The revelation was part of a wider antitrust inquiry of online sales in the EU generally built on feedback provided by other retailers.

So far, both the EC and Amazon have declined to comment based on the reports to Bloomberg made by two sources familiar with the case who have not publicly come forward. If the antitrust probe is instigated, this will be the first time the EU has directly targeted Amazon’s online retail business model, but the third time it has found itself in the crosshairs of regulators.

Speaking last September, Vestager questioned Amazon’s relationship with smaller merchants and sales data. “Do you then also use this data to do your own calculations, as to what is the new big thing, what is it that people want, what kind of offers do they like to receive, what makes them buy things?” she said.

In October, the EC asked merchants to fill out a 16-page form asking them whether Amazon had started selling items under its own brand that are “identical or very similar” to ones smaller sellers have offered.

This news coincides with another antitrust probe expected to hit the chip manufacturing giant Qualcomm. Following its €977m fine in the beginning of last year for shutting down market rivals, the company could be hit with a second large fine within a week for allegedly underpricing its chips to squeeze out competitors.

The Amazon Seller login screen. Image: dimarik/Depositphotos

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Same-day delivery grocery start-up Buymie has announced the closure of €1.6m in new venture funding and the appointment of Jan Harley, founding member of Unilever Ventures, to its board of directors.

It has also announced that it previously raised a seed funding round of €850,000 in 2018, prior to the launch of its partnership with Lidl Ireland.

The investment round, led by Haatch Ventures, also saw funding come in from HBAN, BVP Investments and Buymie’s existing shareholders.

“We’re very excited to announce this latest fundraise, not only to have our existing investors continue to support us, but also to have such strong support from new incredible investors like HBAN and BVP Investments,” commented Devan Hughes, CEO and co-founder of Buymie. “We are absolutely thrilled to have such a strong network of strategic and value-add investors joining us on this journey.

“Buymie has had a transformation 18 months. There has been tremendous growth in the on-demand/same-day delivery channel, visible by Amazon’s recent €500m investment into Deliveroo.

“The next 18 months will see some major developments in this space and Buymie’s focus will be on ensuring we continue to provide our retail partners with all of the technology and infrastructure to fight and win in this channel.”

Unilever Ventures co-founder appointed

Buymie also confirmed that it has added Jan Harley, a founding member of Unilever Ventures, to its board. Harley joined the venture funding wing of transnational consumer goods giant Unilever in 2002, focusing in particular on B2B technology companies in marketing, media, research and e-commerce spheres.

He has previously invested in and sat on the board of companies such as meal-delivery kit Gousto and Irish technology company Clavis Insight.

“I am super excited about the opportunity for Buymie in the European grocery retail space,” Harley said of the news. “As one of the few European investors who has invested in the US on-demand grocery market, I have seen first-hand the benefit that on-demand delivery can bring to grocery e-commerce. Buymie are extremely well placed to lead the wave in Europe.”

The post Buymie raises €1.6m in new venture funding round appeared first on Silicon Republic.

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Employees of e-commerce giant Wayfair have planned a walkout today (26 June) at 1:30pm ET in protest of the company agreeing to fulfil a $200,000 contract with a government contractor managing border camps in the US.

The walkout at the Boston headquarters comes after, according to Twitter account @wayfairwalkout, more than 500 Wayfair employees signed a petition asking the CEO to cease all business with border camps. It also asked the company to provide all profits (allegedly $86,000) to immigration non-profit RAICES.

The group of employees is further demanding that the company establish a code of ethics for B2B sales that empowers employees

“We believe the current actions of the United States and their contractors at the southern border do not represent an ethical business partnership Wayfair should choose to be a part of,” the letter signed by the employees explained.

Through a contract with BCFS, Wayfair would be furnishing a camp in Carrizo Springs, Texas where up to 3,000 migrant children will be detained, according to employees.

Beds/No beds, for kids improperly locked up, is a false dichotomy. We are not against beds, we are against profiting off the detention of children.

A PRISON WITH A BED IS STILL A PRISON

— wayfairwalkout (@wayfairwalkout) June 25, 2019

Representatives from Wayfair have not responded to requests for comment at time of publication.

Tech employees hit back

This is not the first instance in which employees of prominent tech companies have protested supporting US border camps. When Microsoft announced the partnership of its Azure cloud platform with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), anonymous employees told Gizmodo that they were contemplating leaving.

Similarly, a dozen Google employees reportedly quit their jobs last year over the company’s collaboration with the US military through a scheme called Project Maven, which involved using its AI technology to improve the strike accuracy of military drones.

View of Wayfair icon on mobile app screen. Image: opturadesign/Depositphotos.

The post Wayfair employees to stage walkout over border camps furniture contract appeared first on Silicon Republic.

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Karina Kelly is a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur who loves nothing more than diving head first into new markets and coming up with solutions to unsolved problems. A proud Roscommon woman living in Donegal with her husband and two kids, her current venture, Mypicdrop, is pitched as ‘your digital shelf stacker’.

In a nutshell, Mypicdrop is built to assist online retailers, web developers and digital marketing agencies with batch image resizing, renaming and editing. Kelly is the sole founder, coming from a background in marketing and then working with tech start-ups in Enterprise Ireland’s New York office.

After a stint in Asia, she returned to Ireland and started her first company in 2006. Then recession hit, she let all of her staff go and pivoted to selling radiators online. “Everyone told us at the time that nobody would buy such an expensive product without seeing it first. How things have changed! The Radiator Shop is still going strong today and is run by my husband,” said Kelly.

After gaining some experience in business development with Elavon Merchant Services, Kelly returned to the lure of entrepreneurship in 2017, founding 360 Crew with her husband. This company specialises in 360-degree product photography for e-commerce retailers.

“It was from this work that I spotted the challenge that growing e-commerce retailers were having with content publishing, for which one of the only solutions to date has been manpower and Excel sheets. And everyone knows: where there is manpower and Excel sheets, there is a glaring opportunity to come up with a better way!”

Enter Conveyor

Kelly’s solution is Conveyor, a workflow software to help online retailers reduce the time and cost of publishing product content. “The online production team can then focus on value-add activities rather than content gathering, editing and organising.”

Conveyor saves retailers time with faster uploads of new stock. “For the e-commerce retailer, getting product content (images, descriptions, specifications and attributes) to an online store is a time-consuming process that requires teams of people to complete,” Kelly explained. “These teams are scrambling to quickly download product content from brand portals, gather in-house image content, tailor it all and upload it to the correct product. And all of this needs to be done at breakneck speed to win online sales.”

This is simply not practical in the fast-paced world of online shopping, according to Kelly. “As e-commerce moves to become the biggest retail channel worldwide, the market has no choice but to look at ways to automate processes that are currently being done manually. The aim must be to create a multichannel retail structure with minimal human input.”

‘Everyone knows: where there is manpower and Excel sheets, there is a glaring opportunity to come up with a better way’
– KARINA KELLY

Mypicdrop’s target market is medium to large e-commerce retailers in the fashion and apparel sector. “These retailers are dealing with some of the largest stock lists and some of the shortest production timeframes. Product life cycles have reduced from six to nine months a few years ago to eight to 12 weeks now, with lots of last-minute campaigns to promote ‘trending’ products. All of this calls for a product content workflow streamlined to support such a fast-paced environment,” said Kelly.

The company is starting by targeting the UK, home to thousands of these online retailers. Some clients here, Kelly hopes, will provide a gateway to more in Europe and the US. “The ultimate goal is to fully automate product content publishing for e-commerce retailers globally,” she said.

The journey so far

Mypicdrop is at pre-seed stage and currently looking for investment to further develop the software. Version two has been built but the next step is to get to a market-ready prototype for a 2019 customer pilot.

“We are currently working with three of Ireland’s top online retailers, helping them with their product content workflow by using a service-based version of Conveyor. Starting in this way has given us really valuable insights into how retailers are solving the product content challenge at the minute, where the similarities are, and what solutions would be most attractive to this market,” said Kelly.

“It’s not the easiest way to go to market, but I think from this experience I have to say it is probably one of the most valuable to help determine your list of software build priorities.”

‘E-commerce has no choice but to look at ways to automate processes that are currently being done manually’
– KARINA KELLY

A graduate of New Frontiers, Kelly said this Enterprise Ireland programme was “the bomb” for the support, guidance and networking she gained.

“I would not be at this point in the business without having been on it,” she said. “I would really recommend it as the first step for any start-up.”

Kelly has received ongoing advice and guidance from Enterprise Ireland, the Donegal Local Enterprise Office and Acorns. She is also grateful for her fellows in the start-up world who have been generous with their time, and encourages others to start conversations and always ask for (and listen to) advice.

“You think you have a business idea but you will be amazed how others will help you improve it. Off the top of my head I can pinpoint at least 10 conversations with our customers, advisers and potential investors that were pivotal in our journey.”

Another conversation led her to podcasts such as Masters of Scale and How I Built This, which she also recommends. “You will be on the road a lot, and this is a really enjoyable way to help dispel your doubts and get you ultra-positive about your own potential,” she said.

‘There were many days when it felt like I was swimming in a sea of confusion, so I needed to be OK to just sit with that’
– KARINA KELLY

Kelly has been inspired by those Irish start-ups that have paved the way ahead. “They say you can only become what you see and when you see Irish start-ups taking on the world you can very easily say to yourself: ‘Why not me?’”

While it was a challenge for her to embrace the rapidly changing landscape of start-up life, she has learned to trust her manoeuvres.

“There were many days when it felt like I was swimming in a sea of confusion, so I needed to be OK to just sit with that and know that the next right move would eventually present itself – which, so far, it always has!

“After that, it’s managing what happens day to day while keeping the bigger picture in view. You can get lost in the to-do list but unless you keep moving on strategic-based activities, it just doesn’t move ahead.”

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The post Mypicdrop is here to speedily stack the shelves of online stores appeared first on Silicon Republic.

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Monsoon Consulting will add 15 new roles at its Clonskeagh office, founder and CEO Bharat Sharma has confirmed.

This follows on from its expansion in 2018 when the company also increased its headcount by 15. The company aims to double its revenue, from €2.5m to €5m, by 2021.

Monsoon Consulting is recruiting for a variety of roles such as consultants, software developers, DevOps staff, UI/UX designers and QA experts. Recruitment for these positions is already underway.

Sharma said: “With an increasing amount of business being conducted online, and the remaining uncertainty of Brexit, more leading brands are developing a new or enhanced e-commerce capability to both meet the needs of their customers but, even more importantly, generate new and substantial revenues for their business.

“That’s where our expertise plays a vital role as we seek to build our service offering and expand into new markets.”

Sharma also noted that its Ireland and UK markets are “growing strongly” and that it was currently exploring the possibility of opening a new European base, most likely in Germany.

Monsoon Consulting provides a variety of digital services to businesses across different sectors. Clients include the Football Association of Ireland (FAI), Central Bank of Ireland, Woodies DIY, One4All gift cards and more.

New senior appointments

The company also revealed two different senior appointments. Tadhg Bowe has joined the business as a ‘Magento solutions specialist’ who will work with clients to help them optimise their use of the Magento e-commerce platform.

Additionally, Julia Isupova has been appointed as HR and office manager to support the continued growth of the team.

Another firm that recently announced 15 new roles is cloud specialist Arkphire, which has confirmed that it will expand its operation in Castlebar in Mayo. The move comes after it acquired Mayo cloud specialist CloudStrong. This will bring Arkphire’s Mayo headcount up to 27 and the overall headcount of the Arkphire Group to 115.

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Today (19 June) the second call opens for applications to the Online Retail Scheme administered by Enterprise Ireland.

This €1.25m fund is available for retailers with an online presence to accelerate and internationalise their web-based offering by investing in research, strategy development, implementation and training.

Successful applicants will receive funds ranging from €10,000 to €25,000 to strengthen their online sales capabilities, increasing their competitiveness in the modern retail market and driving international scale. These grants will be provided on a match fund basis.

Half of funding for regional retailers

Stephen Hughes, head of consumer at Enterprise Ireland, said that this scheme was developed in response to challenges the retail sector currently faces in terms of keeping up with consumer demand for quick and easy consumption, and access through digital platforms.

“By delivering the Online Retail Scheme, we intend to support Irish retailers to innovate and, through innovation, increase their competitiveness and international reach,” he said.

“Regional development is a significant pillar of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy and we understand the important role played by retailers in regional communities. To this end, once the fund criteria is met, at least half of the total number of funds will be awarded to Irish retail businesses based outside of Dublin,” Hughes added.

‘It is critical that our retail sector is competing at the forefront of the digital revolution’
– HEATHER HUMPHREYS, TD

“Retailing supports jobs in every city, town and village in the country and so it is critical that our retail sector is competing at the forefront of the digital revolution,” said Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD.

“The Online Retail Scheme is intended to enable Irish retailers to expand their reach to a wider customer base both at home and abroad,” she added.

Irish-owned retail businesses with 10 or more employees and a physical retail outlet are invited to apply via Enterprise Ireland’s online platform over the next six weeks. Applications will then close at 3pm IST on Wednesday 31 July 2019.

For further information, interested parties can email retail@enterprise-ireland.com.

The post Retailers can secure up to €25,000 in funding to boost online presence appeared first on Silicon Republic.

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London often vies with Berlin in terms of the sheer scale of European start-up activity and investment, but also in terms of culture and character.

The city leads tech investment in the UK with £9bn in funding raised between 2015 and 2018, according to the most recent TechNation report.

According to the report, London accounts for 36pc of UK tech investment. Not only that but the UK capital is scaling fast – from 2018 to the present day, London scale-up firms grew by more than 56pc, more than anywhere else globally.

The city is a hub of innovation and talent, and entrepreneurs are not short of hubs to work in, from Huckletree to Uncommon, Central Working, Google’s Campus London and Plexal.

Active venture capitalists are many, and some of the most active include LocalGlobeIndex Ventures, Atomico, Passion Capital and Draper Esprit, to name a few.

Key accelerators include Level39, Pi Labs and Wayra, while important events on the calendar include the upcoming London Tech Week, Noah London, Unbound, The Europas and Big Data London.

And so, here are 10 London start-ups to look out for in the year ahead.

BlackCurve

Pricing Strategies for Retailers

Are you a retailer looking for new pricing ideas?

This tip sheet will help you uncover new methods to help you stay ahead of the competition, acquire new customers and increase your margins.

Download https://t.co/ht7bNz6MDY#Pricing #Retail pic.twitter.com/y3sbPWoL2v

— BlackCurve (@blackcurveHQ) June 4, 2019

Yulife is an AI-based insurance platform that helps businesses ensure that their employees have life insurance, rewarding activities such as walking and meditation with air miles and gift cards. Founded in 2016, Yulife recently raised £10m in a funding round led by Creandum Funds.

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The post 10 superb London start-ups to watch appeared first on Silicon Republic.

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The Collison brothers’ Stripe has unveiled a new tool to help businesses recover and defend themselves from one of the most fraudulent activities in e-commerce: chargeback fraud.

The payments player has also published the findings of a new study at Money 20/20, indicating that the European economy could face a loss of €57bn after the onset of new Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) regulations, with small businesses expected to be disproportionately hit.

‘Chargebacks beleaguer internet businesses; they’re unpredictable, hard to win and hurt cash flow’
– EEKE DE MILLIANO

A chargeback happens when a cardholder makes a claim to their bank or credit card company that a payment made on their card was fraudulent. When a chargeback occurs, the business to which the payment was originally made is required to repay the full purchase amount, plus a chargeback fee.

Chargebacks are a major headache for small businesses and start-ups that trade online. These disputes often have a material impact on a business’s cash flow, as funds are pulled from their account while the dispute is assessed. This can take up to three months, during which time the disputed funds remain unavailable to the business, even if they ultimately win the dispute.

With Chargeback Protection, businesses on Stripe are not only safeguarded against fraudulent charges, but are also automatically reimbursed for the cost of a disputed charge and any associated fees, saving them time, money and resources.

“Over the last few years, a top request from Stripe’s users – no surprise – has been for help with fraudulent chargebacks,” said Eeke de Milliano, product manager for Stripe Radar and Chargeback Protection.

“Chargebacks beleaguer internet businesses; they’re unpredictable, hard to win and hurt cash flow since disputes can lock up legitimate funds for months while the process plays out. Stripe Chargeback Protection removes that burden entirely, so companies can focus on everything else they need to do to grow their business.”

It’s a tough time to be an online business in Europe

While offering an elixir to firms beleaguered by chargeback fraud, the bad news is that European firms are not prepared for the onset of new SCA rules as part of PSD2 in September, with only one in two expected to be compliant.

‘SCA will make or break internet businesses’
– GUILLAUME PRINCEN

A new study conducted by 451 Research for Stripe forecasts that Europe stands to lose €57bn in economic activity in the first 12 months after SCA takes effect. The findings are based on surveys conducted with 500 qualified payment professionals at online businesses and 1,000 consumers in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain.

It found that SCA will disproportionately impact small businesses. It also found that three in five businesses with fewer than 100 employees are either unfamiliar with SCA, won’t be compliant before the September deadline or are unsure when they will be ready.

“SCA is unequivocally the single most disruptive event to impact European digital commerce, and many businesses – especially smaller ones – have yet to fully grasp its extensive impact,” said Jordan McKee, analyst at 451 Research.

“Our study indicates low levels of preparedness and, most troublingly, a lack of appreciation for how SCA will transform how European consumers will buy online.”

According to Stripe, many businesses are preparing to minimise the transactions for which SCA will be required. This can be achieved through a set of exemptions, which allow, for example, recurring payments or small purchases (under €30) to be approved without extra layers of friction.

However, businesses are dramatically underestimating the complexity and resource burden of managing and optimising these exemptions.

Around half of respondents plan to handle management of exemptions completely in-house. The challenge is that exemptions are complex to administer, especially for smaller businesses, and require visibility on how card networks and banks will apply exemptions across Europe. For instance, purchases under €30 are exempt from SCA, but SCA will be requested by the customer’s bank once five transactions below €30 have been made or the total value of those transactions reaches €100.

The most recent version of 3D Secure, which to date has been known by consumers under names such as Verified by Visa and Mastercard SecureCode, is emerging as a popular SCA-compliant way to accept payments online. However, one in four online businesses are not yet familiar with it. For those that are familiar, 24pc believe they will only implement it after the September deadline.

“SCA will make or break internet businesses. The urgency to get ready for it cannot be overstated,” commented Guillaume Princen, head of continental Europe at Stripe. “We’re building infrastructure to insulate internet businesses from this kind of regulatory complexity. Our ambition is to accelerate online commerce and empower innovators to easily experiment with new internet business models.”

To make matters worse, 73pc of European online shoppers are unaware of the new authentication requirements coming to the online checkout experience in September.

When asked what they believe would be the best authentication experience, 54pc say one-time passcodes while 26pc said that fingerprint recognition such as Touch ID on Apple devices would be best.

Despite this apparent low preference for fingerprint recognition, 43pc still believe that it is “most secure”. This indicates a need to help consumers get more comfortable with mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay as a secure and easy way to check out online.

The post Stripe reveals challenges that will make or break Europe’s digital economy appeared first on Silicon Republic.

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Evolution can’t keep up. Modern technology is progressing at an unruly pace that our bodies and brains can’t match. We’re living in a digital landscape, equipped principally with instincts inherited from our cave-dwelling ancestors.

Even though our conscious minds have evolved to at least try and keep pace with the modern world, we’re still hardwired to respond primitively to certain situations. To quote João Pedro de Magalhães: “Biologically, the human brain that went to the moon is the same that hunted mammoths in the last ice age.”

An understanding of our primal behaviours and how they govern unconscious decision-making can inform and improve companies’ UX strategies. Although there are countless nuances and caveats to our behaviour, there are three instincts that UX designers should particularly watch out for. These three primal urges demand a seamless user experience with pinpoint attention to detail, buckets of empathy and consideration of the memory people will take away.

1. The loss-aversion mindset

Consumers favour avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains. It’s better not to lose €10 than find €10.

This stems from priorities developed by our historic ancestors, who obviously weren’t planning to blitz nearly two grand on a foldable phone that would most certainly break the moment they touched it. They were looking after their precious resources of food, water and shelter, because that was integral to their survival.

The stuff we hold dear has changed but the principle remains the same: we hate losing something precious to us. Look at the furore when Waitrose tried to remove its offer of free tea and coffee at its cafés, or when Tesco changed its Clubcard reward scheme so the value of some points were reduced.

Consumers feel ‘losses’ keenly and react angrily if they are deprived of rewards they have come to expect. UX designers need to consider how to ensure the loyalty schemes they develop are built for the long term. If that’s not possible, they must consider how they can manage changes without making people feel they’re losing something. Otherwise, they risk spurning a brand’s core client base.

2. The entourage effect

Status has always been important, even in tribal times, and it is built through power. It’s a demonstration of position in social hierarchy – if you can show off that power and use it to benefit others, your status will be elevated even further.

Recently, brands have caught on and use this cognitive bias to help customers elevate their VIP status while simultaneously doing an acquisition drive. An obvious example is something like Monzo’s Golden Ticket, which gives people the ability to help their friends skip the waiting list; or Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club, which gives gold-tier members the chance to secure seats and ‘clubhouse access’ for their fellow travellers.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all naturally crave status in some form, and brands poised to feed that consumer need and make the experience as high-class as possible are set to succeed.

3. The peak-end rule

This is arguably the most important cognitive bias, and the one which is most relevant to UXers looking to design for primitive behaviours.

Memory is an incredibly important tool for brands, especially when it comes to building brand loyalty and growing a customer base. As such, an understanding of the human memory is vital to manage decision-making.

As Daniel Kahneman pointed out in his now-famous TED Talk, there is a real difference between our ‘experiencing selves’ and our ‘remembering selves’. When we come to recall our experience, we’ll largely judge it on how it felt during the peaks and the denouement, regardless of whether the experience was actually pleasant or unpleasant.

To put this into context, Kahneman asks us to imagine we’re listening to a piece of classical music, something that’s pleasing to hear. Let’s say, at the end of this pleasant tune, there’s a horrid sound – nails against a chalkboard or a cat screaming in pain.

When you recall hearing that piece of music, you’ll remember the horrid sound at the end and likely decide overall that you didn’t enjoy listening to it. Even if you enjoyed 99pc of what you heard before, your memory is plagued by that incongruent final note. This is the trick our memories play on us.

In the context of digital experiences, you could have the most effortless, beautifully designed, intuitive checkout experience the world has ever seen, but if the confirmation page is confusing, rude or slow, you undermine the entire process. The consumer will just remember feeling uncertain that their payment went through, or that they will in fact receive their goods – then they’ll moan about it on social media (as they should). And that memory will influence if they choose to use your service again.

By Roz Thomas

Roz Thomas is director of experience at Dare, an experience, design and engineering company.

The post 3 primal urges that UX developers should design for appeared first on Silicon Republic.

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The Collison brothers’ fast-growing payments platform, Stripe, has hired Google veteran and entrepreneur Matt Henderson to lead engineering operations from its Dublin hub.

Reporting to David Singleton, Stripe’s CTO, Henderson will shape the development of Stripe’s products to power the region’s most exciting internet businesses.

‘There’s a super-talented, growing team across EMEA, and Dublin is becoming a major software engineering hub’
– MATT HENDERSON

Prior to Stripe, Henderson led Google’s strategy for scaling Google Play, the global apps and games marketplace.

Like many employees at Stripe, he is a former entrepreneur, having built shopping analytics platform Rangespan, which was acquired by Google in 2014.

Henderson also built and scaled Amazon’s efforts in Europe in the very early days of the e-commerce giant. He started there as a product manager, and ended up leading Amazon’s marketplace strategy in Europe, heading large teams across multiple functions including product management, account management and business development.

SCA to change e-commerce in Europe forever

Henderson’s appointment comes just as Stripe rallies its resources for the onset of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) in September, the core development that will make the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) more real than anything.

SCA is a radical regulatory shake-up of online payments that will make or break many internet businesses in the region. Tens of billions of euro are at stake as businesses that trade online face a race against the clock to have their systems in place by the 14 September enforcement date.

The objective of SCA is to reduce fraud and make online payments more secure. Come September, more than 300m European consumers will have to use two-factor authentication for the majority of online purchases, including their password, their device or biometrics, such as a fingerprint.

Stripe, a company founded by two brothers from Limerick, Patrick and John Collison, in San Francisco, is currently growing its existing engineering hub in Dublin tenfold after winning a vital e-banking licence from Ireland’s Central Bank that will enable it to process pan-European payments following a hard or soft Brexit. The company also recently acquired Touchtech Payments, a Dublin-based payments start-up, for an undisclosed sum as it prepares for the onset of SCA.

In recent weeks the company launched a new set of products to help with SCA compliance and launched its Billing product in Europe to help high-growth SaaS and subscription businesses get paid faster.

Writing about his decision to join Stripe, Henderson wrote in a Medium post: “I like the sense of adventure that comes from working towards a difficult future vision. It led me to join a relatively small company 15 years ago (Amazon.com) and then to found a start-up (Rangespan). In the five years since Google acquired Rangespan, I’ve had a fantastic experience working with great people, but the urge for the next adventure was growing.”

Depth and breadth

Stripe’s payment technology is currently powering some of the fastest-growing tech platforms in Europe, including Booking.com, Deliveroo and Spotify.

The depth and breadth of the Dublin engineering hub is expanding rapidly and the hub now incorporates security engineering, merchant intelligence, developer tooling and an engineering team focused on building local payment products.

Henderson’s vision aligns with the Stripe founders’ original vision to simplify payments on the internet. “The internet has become a multitrillion-dollar platform for commerce, yet it still has big deficiencies. New payment methods are costly and time-consuming for businesses to implement. Complexities prevent many businesses from trading globally. Billions of people don’t have credit or debit cards. Transactions are deterred by a lack of trust between buyer and seller.”

Henderson also predicted that Stripe will not just be known as a payments platform but an actual ‘monetisation’ platform for businesses by helping them to sell more by improving transaction success rates.

“Something else that is motivating for me is Stripe’s globally distributed organisational model,” Henderson added.

“There’s a super-talented, growing team across EMEA, and Dublin is becoming a major software engineering hub. Locating the full breadth of functions in proximity to our users in EMEA will help us build even better products. It’s also fantastic for the wider tech community.”

Stripe was founded nine years ago when Patrick was 22 and John was 19. Earlier this year VMware co-founder and the former head of Google Cloud, Diane Greene, joined the board of Stripe.

The company raised $100m in a funding round earlier this year that values it at more than $22bn. The new investment came from Tiger Global, which previously led a $245m funding round that valued Stripe at $20bn in September 2018. As well as Tiger Global, investors in Stripe include big names such as Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.

The 45,000 sq ft The One Building, where Stripe’s Dublin offices are based, was designed by Irish architect Sam Stephenson.

The post Stripe hires Google veteran Matt Henderson to drive product strategy from Dublin appeared first on Silicon Republic.

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