Stripe leads $75m funding for US payroll start-up Check

Check, a US-based payroll software start-up, has raised $75m in a Series C funding round led by payments giant Stripe.

Founded in New York in 2019, Check develops infrastructure that helps integrate payroll into the platforms businesses use already. It publicly launched last year with the aim of serving small businesses and simplifying the process of paying employees.

Andrew Brown, co-founder and CEO of Check, wrote in a blog post announcing the funding led by Stripe that there has been an explosion of software platforms serving small businesses over the past decade such as Homebase, ServiceTitan and Procare – all of which partner with Check.

He explained that while these platforms have become “the core system of record” for businesses they serve and unite many of the tools business owners need in one place, they lack a crucial payroll tool.

“These platforms heard the demand from their customers for a radically simplified payroll experience, and they realised they were perfectly positioned to deliver it. But they were frustrated by the byzantine complexity of the space,” he wrote.

“It was like trying to build for the web in 1994, or in payments in 2008. The underlying infrastructure simply didn’t exist yet.”

Check has come a long way in just over a year since its launch. It now has clients that serve more than 250,000 businesses and 4m employees across all US states.

The start-up has two main products: Check Components, which are embeddable flows that can be added into applications with a few lines of code; and Console, a centralised dashboard for managing payroll across customers.

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“Raising this capital now sets us on a trajectory to build the enduring, independent infrastructure layer the payroll industry has long deserved, but never had,” added Brown.

While the funding round was led by Stripe, new and existing investors Bedrock, Thrive and Index also backed the investment.

Chris Sperandio of Stripe said that Check’s technology-first approach is “ideally positioned to capitalise on growing demand for embedded payroll”.

“Check offers a tailored, tightly integrated payroll platform and truly elegant experience – enabling companies to get started faster,” he said.

Stripe, the payments giant founded by Irish brothers John and Patrick Collison, is a previous backer of Check. The company has also invested in other fintech start-ups recently including Ramp, Step and Imprint.

Last week, fintech start-up Revolut launched a new payroll service for customers using its business services in the UK, aiming to make it easier for them to pay employees in “clicks, not hours”.

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