Stripe Atlas was launched by the Stripe payment company last year to help small businesses to establish themselves as a legal entity and incorporated in the United States. Today, with "thousands" of entrepreneurs from more than 125 countries using Atlas. with a new feature as it focuses on being a platform for startup services. Companies that are registered with Atlas (which costs $ 500) can now use it to set up legal documents and issue shares to the founding teams.
Created in partnership with the law firm Orrick, the core service includes templates to generate, revise, sign and store issuance documents, based on "standard terms" in the world of startups – which typically include four years of acquisition. cliff of one year. Anything that is more personalized requires a higher level of service (and additional fees).
The feature is currently limited to the founding teams, although Taylor Francis, who runs the Stripe Atlas program, notes that an update that Stripe might consider is to extend it to also work for D & # 39; 39, other employees. Stock options are one of the most discussed aspects of people who choose to take jobs in start-ups – the hope being that if it takes off, the your bank account balance also increases. Extending the option to a larger number of employees could therefore be an uncomplicated detail to add to the program for Stripe.
"We can see this other direction down the road," Francis said in an interview.
The new service arrives at a key moment for Stripe. The company was valued at $ 9 billion in its last round of financing in November 2016, and while its CEO, Patrick Collison, said the company would not be targeting an IPO soon, on the road today. she will look for more ways to diversify and broaden her business model to complete this hefty evaluation. Positioning yourself as a business service platform is one way for Stripe to do so.
Part of the logic behind the launch of Stripe Atlas looks like this: it's an effective way of integrating companies that may not yet use Stripe's core product, but who, hopefully, will turn to Stripe. like and when they do it.
"We hope that [using Atlas] means that they will be more successful on the road," said Francis, "and if they then use some of our other products [like the payments API] this will be good for them, and we ".
Atlas itself costs $ 500 to join, with a portion of this fee for filing fees for forms and related legal work, says Francis, so for now, it seems that the we focus less on Stripe.
But in the longer term, Atlas has the potential to be a platform in itself – all the more so that not all companies that will be using it will necessarily be commercial companies that generate a lot of payments. The addition of the stock issue service is a way to test the waters for more features, and Francis confirmed that there will be more.
"There is nothing we share today, but the way we think about it is that there are a whole series of barriers that hinder the founders," he said. he said. "We will continue to go down the list and see how many of these we can solve."
This comes to add to some other improvements made to Stripe Atlas and Stripe over the last few months in order to become a service platform beyond the basic payment offering. In April, Stripe opened Atlas to US-based companies (initially launched as a service for foreign companies). "Since this launch the number of Atlas users has skyrocketed. Francis – and earlier this month, the company launched a kind of content game, Stripe Atlas Guides, to begin answering the various questions that the founders might have.
If you want to know what other products we could see from Atlas, you can use the guides as a guide. "They are really a harbinger of what will come Stripe Atlas," I said a spokesman.
And this month, Stripe also launched a service called Elements to help customers create personalized checkout experiences, similar to Shopify.
In addition to the stock-issue tool, Stripe also adds a few things, including a checklist for other practical items that startups should follow after incorporation. , like getting an accountant and an automated service to get an agent in Delaware. are incorporated by Atlas). He said that he is also working on automating more tasks on the list.