Minority-led, all-in-one payments platform Stax reached unicorn status with a valuation of just over $1 billion after raising $245 million from Greater Sum Ventures, HarbourVest Partners and Blue Star Innovation Partners, according to a press release on Tuesday (March 8).
The investors will serve as strategic partners to Stax. Rob Wechsler, founder and CEO of Blue Star, will join Stax’s board of directors.
Founded in 2015 in Orlando, Florida, by brother-and-sister team Suneera Madhani, CEO, and Sal Rehmetullah, president, the new funding and valuation status comes at a time when less than 3% of venture capital goes to minorities and less than 1% goes to businesses helmed by women-of-color CEOs, according to the release.
“As a minority woman and executive in FinTech, I’m no stranger to discrimination and doubt,” said Madhani. “My brother and I built this company from our parents’ home back in 2014. Since then, we’ve grown 500% in the past three years and processed more than $23 billion in payments for 22,000 businesses nationwide. We share this milestone not just with our team, but every person of color trying to hustle, build their own business and make history.”
Stax said its latest funding and valuation is an example for other minority-led companies trying to break out and build successful businesses. The fresh infusion of capital will be used to grow product capabilities, build out its offerings to customers, increase its workforce and expand worldwide.
“At Stax, we help businesses grow and scale, all while having the flexibility to adapt their payment technologies to meet their customer needs,” said Rehmetullah.
“With our new capital and unicorn status, we can ensure our customers have all the tools they need to process and manage their payments. Businesses are just starting to realize how powerful payments can be in scaling their organization, and we’re here to ensure that process goes as smoothly as possible,” he said.
Stax (formerly Fattmerchant) offers one of the industry’s only all-in-one payments APIs and works with over 22,000 businesses and software platforms. The startup has facilitated more than $23 billion in transactions and grew its presence internationally.
“Stax is a rapidly-growing company that is changing the way businesses conduct and scale their payments, which is why we chose to invest in them,” said Wechsler. “The COVID-19 pandemic escalated the need for dynamic, flexible and digital payment options all the way from small businesses to enterprise organizations and the software vendors that serve them. FinTech is rapidly evolving, and Stax is adapting just as quickly, ensuring their customers can do the same.”