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Fast raises $102M as the online checkout wars continue to attract huge investment

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    TC-Exits Fast raises $102M as the online checkout wars continue to attract huge investment

    This morning Fast, a startup that provides online checkout and identity products, announced that it has closed a $102 million Series B. The new funding event was led by Stripe, a previous investor in Fast.

    Stripe, an online payments giant, also led Fast’s Series A last year, a deal worth $20 million. Fast has raised $124 million to date, it said in a release.

    TechCrunch reached out to Fast for comment regarding its growth pace. The company shared that gross merchandise volume (GMV) processed by its checkout service has “more than tripled each month,” adding that it expects that “trend to continue and increase.” The growth pace is hard to rate as we lack a base from which to scale, but we do now have an expectation for future GMV progress from Fast that we can use as a measuring stick.

    Fast’s outsized Series B comes after a number of rival online checkout providers have also raised large rounds.

    In late December Bolt, which provides online checkout, identity, and payments services raised a $75 million extension to its Series C round. The company also shared a number of growth metrics, allowing TechCrunch to get a handle on its current size, and expectations for future performance.

    Then in mid-January raised $450 million at a $15 billion valuation. TechCrunch wrote at the time that “ wants to build a one-stop shop for all things related to payments, such as accepting transactions, processing them and detecting fraud.” So, similar to Bolt and in competition with elements of what Fast offers.

    Finally, Rapyd announced that it raised $300 million at a $2.5 billion valuation one day later. Rapyd provides fintech services via an API, TechCrunch noted, but as it does support global ecommerce payments and sells anti-fraud tech, it seems to fit inside this group.

    Tack on Fast’s new Series B and inside the last month or so we’ve seen $927 million — at least — flow into startups with overlapping ecommerce infrastructure market targets. That’s just under $26 million a day since the Bolt round, an enormous amount of capital in a short period of time.

    How are the companies all raising in such rapid-fire fashion? The most obvious answer to the question is that ecommerce is so big, and so critical to the global economy, that improving the experience of vending goods online for both sellers and buyers is a problem space with room for many players. That so many startups in the race to solve online commerce have each raised implies that they are all, so far, enjoying strong growth rates; and that implies a gigantic market into which they all hope to grow.

    And it’s hard to argue in the wake of COVID-19 boosting ecommerce, and generally accelerating the digitization of the global economy, that such technologies will be constrained by market size anytime soon.