Careers at Braintree
Braintree’s mission is to provide the tools people need to build businesses, accept payments, and enable commerce for their users.
Bryan Johnson was a graduate of the University of Chicago business school. He had a desire to build a different kind of online payments company – one that would make its fees transparent. It would also provide outstanding customer service, similar to that of shoe company Zappos. As a history buff, he wanted his business to have a name that sounded important and trustworthy; he also wanted it to attract top developers. He settled on Braintree, the hometown of former U.S. presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
Johnson launched Braintree in 2007. It initially focused on offering merchant account services. However, Johnson broadened its scope by designing software that enabled merchants to accept payments on their websites or through their mobile apps. It featured a full-stack payment platform, which differed from the usual model that involved sourcing a merchant account and payment gateway from different providers. The service offered vault storage and a recurring billing option.
In a short matter of time Braintree became renowned in the tech sector as the payment solution for quick-growing startups. Clients particularly appreciated how the software could be integrated in 20 minutes, compared to months for competitors. Its increasing market share enabled it to attract significant funding from investors. In 2011 it raised $34 million in a Series A round led by Accel Partners. In 2012 it raised $35 million in a Series B round led by New Enterprise Investors. That same year, it acquired mobile payment firm Venmo, expanding its reach to Canada, Europe, and Australia.
In 2013 the company was acquired by eBay for $800 million in an effort to thwart competition to PayPal (owned by eBay at the time) – a sign of its success. By then Braintree had a billion dollar market valuation. It now processes more than $50 billion annually and has 154 million cards on file. It has thousands of mobile and online clients, including Uber, Airbnb, Fab, GitHub, and LivingSocial.
Benefits at Braintree
Business model of Braintree
Braintree has a segmented market business model, with customer segments that have slightly different needs. It serves organizations that fall into the following five groups:
- Direct – Sell products/services directly to consumers or collect donations (e.g., foundations)
- Subscription-Based – Deliver products/services and bill customers frequently without interruption
- Marketplace – Hosts merchants and their products in a marketplace and splits payments with them
- Shopping Cart or Service Provider – Provides carts and other tools for Braintree merchants
- Contextual Commerce – Consumer platform that engages in on-the-spot commerce or vendor who wants more visibility in sales of products/services
Braintree’s customers range from startups to leading online retailers. Its service is limited to those in the following countries/regions: U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.
Braintree offers four primary value propositions: accessibility, customization, risk reduction, and pricing.
The company creates accessibility by offering a wide variety of payment methods. Vendors can use it to accept most debit and credit cards, including Visa, American Express, MasterCard, Discover, Diner’s Club, and JCB. They can also accept payments through Android Pay, Apple Pay, Bitcoin, PayPal, and Venmo. Vendors can accept pay in more than 130 currencies, gaining more accessibility.
The company’s solution enables customized integration. Its basic feature, Drop-In UI Integration, offers a ready-made payment UI. The Custom UI Integration feature allows users to personalize their checkout flow through use of Braintree’s APIs.
The company reduces risk by offering advanced fraud protection. It uses the following fraud tools:
Address Verification System (AVS) – Confirms that address details match what bank has on file
Card Verification Value (CVV) – Ensures the verification number associated with Visa, Amex, Discover, and Mastercard cards is always validated
Risk Threshold – Identifies fraudulent parties based on speed of transactions in a given timeframe
The company offers attractive and transparent pricing. Merchants are not charged a fee for their first $50,000 in card processing volume (applies to any digital wallet/card transactions not occurring through Coinbase or PayPal). Following this, most transactions accrue a fee of 2.9% + $0.30. Beyond this charge, there are no monthly or minimum fees, or hidden costs for recurring billing.
Braintree’s main channel is its direct sales force, which acquires customers through phone and e-mail contact. The company also acquires customers and promotes its offering through its website.
Braintree’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize the service through the main platform while having limited interaction with employees. The company’s website offers a number of self-help resources, including articles, developer documentation (including client and server software development kits), and answers to frequently asked questions. That said, there is also a personal assistance element in the form of phone, e-mail, and live chat support.
Braintree’s business model entails maintaining and updating its platform for its merchant customers.
Braintree partners with third parties by integrating its offering into their solutions. The following partners’ products come equipped with its technology as well as a dedicated team for account management and support: 3dcart, Bigcommerce, Woo Commerce, and Yodle.
Braintree’s main resource is its proprietary software platform. It also depends on human resources in the form of its engineering staff for operating the platform, its sales staff for acquiring customers, and its customer service staff for providing support. Lastly, as a startup it has relied heavily on funding from investors, raising $69 million from five companies as of September 2012.
Braintree has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is likely transaction expenses, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of customer support/operations and sales/marketing, also fixed costs.
Braintree has one revenue stream, transaction fees. They are as follows:
- A basic transaction fee of 2.9% +$0.30 (applies after customers pass $50,000 in volume)
- A fee of 1% for transactions presented outside of customer‘s home currency
- A flat $15 applied for chargebacks
info: William earned a B.S. in Information Systems and Finance at the University of Louisville and an MBA at Harvard Business School. He previously served as SVP, Global Head of Merchant & NextGen Commerce at PayPal and President of iPay Technologies.
info: Juan earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He previously served as VP of Search Advertising and Senior Director of Engineering at Yahoo!
info: James earned an A.A.S. in Electronics Engineering Technology at Southeast Community College and a B.S. in Industrial Distribution Comprehensive at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He previously served as SVP of Direct Sales at iPay Technologies.
info: Jay previously served as Lead Product Manager at Zynga, Product Manager at Amazon, and as an Associate at General Atlantic. At Braintree, he focuses on increasing merchant adoption of major strategic initiatives and forming deals with key partners.
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