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Rainforest Raises $20M to Transform Embedded Payments for Software Platforms

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The fintech startup grew payment volume by 17x in six months, enabling vertical software companies to increase revenue and engagement, and reduce churn

ATLANTA, June 26, 2024-- Rainforest, a payment provider purpose-built for software platforms, today announced it has raised an oversubscribed $20 million Series A funding round led by Matrix Partners. Additional participating investors include Accel, Infinity Ventures, BoxGroup, The Fintech Fund, Tech Square Ventures, Ardent Venture Partners – all of whom participated in the company’s seed round announced in 2023. The fresh capital brings Rainforest’s total funding to $31.75 million and will be used to advance the company’s core technology and product offerings, expand its platform success team, and accelerate its growth via new go-to-market initiatives.

Rainforest helps software platforms grow revenue by embedding payments into their products, without introducing any risk or compliance complexities. The company has achieved a stronghold amongst software companies processing $50 million - $2 billion in annual payments, a previously underserved segment. Rainforest provides a data-driven customized risk model for each platform, creating vertical-specific merchant scoring and precise fraud monitoring.

Since Rainforest’s seed round last year, the company grew its payment volume by 17x. It has signed dozens of platforms representing billions in processing volume across a variety of industries, including trucking and logistics, healthcare, specialty retail, professional services, field services, donation management, and more. The company has also advanced its product in ways that help software platforms grow payments revenue and reduce fraud.

• Streamlined merchant onboarding, including becoming one of the few PayFacs to enable Plaid bank verification and self-service options
• Added support for Apple Pay, reducing checkout friction and growing platforms’ payment volume
• Reduced fraud through implementation of 3DS
• Optimized interchange passthrough fees to help platforms save upwards of 20-30 basis points
• Certified for Visa SMB rates which enables qualified merchants to save up to 10-25 basis points

The overall payments landscape is quickly evolving

According to UBS, SMBs account for 25-30% of U.S. payment volume but 65-70% of net revenues. The portion of SMB merchant acquiring revenue processed through horizontal and vertical SaaS platforms is expected to increase from 24% of total merchant acquiring revenue in 2022 to 33% by 2027, as SMBs move away from traditional processors. Financial services embedded into e-commerce and other software platforms accounted for $2.6 trillion of total U.S. financial transactions in 2021, and by 2026 it’s expected to surpass $7 trillion. This represents a growing opportunity for SaaS platforms to capture SMB payment processing revenue.

SaaS platforms rely on payment providers to increase sales and satisfy consumer demand via secure, embedded payment processing. To date, incumbent providers haven’t served these platforms well for two primary reasons. One, they reserve higher-touch support for larger enterprise software platforms, leaving mid-market platforms hugely vulnerable with low support DIY models. Two, many incumbent providers started as direct merchant acquirers and later retrofitted their offerings for software platforms, meaning that core functions including merchant onboarding, reporting, and reconciliation were not optimized for platform use cases. This tacked-on tech model creates customer support nightmares with a snowball effect that impacts both the platforms themselves and the SMBs that rely on them.

“Historically, Stripe excelled at helping startups take their very first payment – but they’ve very publicly shifted their focus to large enterprises, leaving mid-market platforms to choose between a DIY Stripe solution built for early stage startups or cobbled-together solutions from a bevy of upstarts. These mid-market platforms tell us that, prior to Rainforest, it was impossible to find a payment provider that offers a full package of modern technology, platform-friendly commercials, and high-touch support,” said Joshua Silver, founder and CEO of Rainforest. “With Rainforest, software companies don’t have to sacrifice or choose between robust technology, excellent support, and attractive contract terms. By providing embedded payments via white glove service that’s risk-adjusted and customized for software platforms, we’re empowering more companies to focus on what they do best: building software that improves economies and experiences for everyone.”

Matt Brown of Matrix joins Rainforest’s board

“We’re thrilled to join the Matrix family alongside iconic companies like Afterpay, Canva, Flex, Flock Safety, Hubspot, Quora, and Zendesk,” said Silver.

“Payments are still surprisingly siloed, inaccessible, and user-unfriendly. However, trillions in payment volume are shifting from old-school solutions to modern software platforms with embedded financial services,” said Matt Brown, Partner at Matrix and Rainforest Board member. “Rainforest is a dramatically better experience for buyers, sellers, and the platforms that connect them. I’ve founded and invested in companies with this software plus embedded financial services model over the last decade. I’ve seen dozens of approaches to payments, but none come close to Rainforest. They’ve built their core tech, not just a wrapper around others. They’re experts not just in payments, but in SaaS, platform growth, risk, and the many other areas you need to pull this off. Their impressive traction speaks for itself. I’m thrilled to support them as they continue modernizing embedded payments.”

“While many products in the industry were built for merchants and later retrofitted for platforms, Rainforest’s product was designed and built from the ground up for software platforms,” adds Jeremy Jonker, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Infinity Ventures. “Rainforest has invested in processes and automation to a degree that we don’t usually see at a company of their size. Everything is planned, built, and stress-tested to support rapid growth. I’m not surprised Rainforest is winning competitive deals over 80% of the time, against some very well funded payment companies.“

Rainforest was founded in 2022 by Joshua Silver, who previously led healthcare payments company Patientco (acquired by Waystar in 2021) and later served as a payment strategy consultant across more than 50 engagements. The company’s leadership team includes VP of Payments, Becky Kopplin, VP of Engineering, Chris Church, and VP of Finance, Cailey Ryckman, who all worked with Silver previously and bring decades of experience scaling software platforms and payment providers.

About Rainforest

Rainforest is a payment provider that helps software platforms build and optimize embedded financial services. With Rainforest, software platforms can provide a best-in-class payments experience for their end merchants without the risk, compliance, economic and operational burdens of registering as a payment facilitator with card networks. Rainforest provides low-code integration technology, true merchant portability, transparent pricing, the industry's most flexible contract terms and a no-risk model. In September 2023, Venture Atlanta named Rainforest Emerging Startup of the year. Learn more at https://www.rainforestpay.com/.

Contact:
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Whitney Topping
whitney@walkercomms.com

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