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How a tiny 4-person startup, Supaglue, caught Stripe’s eye

In Stripe’s annual letter, the company discussed several fast-growing areas, one of them being the “Revenue and Finance Automation” unit. Those are tools that help businesses manage billing, tax and revenue recognition. Stripe’s RFA unit will reach a $500 million annual run rate this year, the company said.

As part of its investment in RFA, the payments giant completed an “acqui-hire” of the four-person team from Supaglue, for an undisclosed sum. Supaglue raised a $6.8 million seed round in November 2021, led by Benchmark general partner Chetan Puttagunta. (Puttagunta did not respond to TechCrunch’s request for comment.)

Supaglue, formerly known as Supergrain, is an open source developer platform for user-facing integrations. At the same time, Stripe’s been working on real-time analytics and reporting across its platform and third-party apps for the Revenue and Finance Automation suite. This team is going to help accelerate that, a Stripe spokesperson told TechCrunch.

George Xing and Thomas Chen started Supaglue in 2021 after working on the data teams at Lyft and Uber. While there, they realized that managing data and business metrics across teams was inconsistent and fragmented, which could lead to bad decisions and even worse business outcomes, Xing told TechCrunch.

So they built a product that helps companies import and centralize customer data from third-party data sources like Salesforce or other customer relationship management systems into their own applications.

How did a tiny four-person startup catch the attention, and an acquihire offer, from mighty Stripe? Mutual work acquaintances introduced them, though Xing and Chen describe meeting Stripe as “pretty serendipitous.” After folks in their extended network made the introduction, and because Supaglue was also doing a fair amount of integration work, the two companies began having conversations, and when Stripe offered to buy them, they accepted.

“A big part of the RFA suite is also a unified data platform that reconciles data from each of those products and surfaces relevant insights to the end users of Stripe via dashboards, alerts, customer reporting and real-time analytics. It’s very similar to the original problem we were solving,” Xing said.

The Supaglue acqui-hire is one of many things going on at Stripe so far this year. Between the employee stock sale deal and securing partnerships with companies like authentication startup Clerk and a fun one with electric boat startup Navier, the company has been pretty busy. Considering the growth Stripe alluded to in its annual letter, Supaglue will likely quickly find fast friends within Stripe’s ecosystem.

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