Stripe adds support for Alipay and WeChat Pay, China’s top digital payment services

 Payment enabler Stripe just announced two significant tie-ins that could help its pool of merchants make money from consumers in China. U.S. firm Stripe said today that it has agreed to global deals with Alipay and WeChat Pay, two digital services that dominate consumer spending in China. Alipay, which is managed by Alibaba affiliate firm Ant Financial, counts over 500 million users, while… Read More

Stripe launches Works With Stripe, a directory of apps that integrate with its payments

works-with-stripe Stripe, the company that competes against the likes of PayPal by letting businesses add payment services into their apps and websites with a few lines of code, is today launching a new directory that plays into its bigger ambition to position itself as not just a payment tech startup, but a wider platform for business services. Works With Stripe, as the new directory is called, brings… Read More

Stripe opens payments in Japan, adds Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company as investor

japan flag Stripe, the company that lets app publishers, online merchants and other digital businesses include payments features via a few lines of code, is expanding in Asia. After launching in Singapore two weeks ago, the startup is now officially opening for business in Japan. And alongside the Japan launch, Stripe is announcing a new investor. Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company, the largest credit… Read More

What do you call a tech unicorn the goes public?

Reflection of stock market graph in window Are tech IPOs coming back? That is an ever-present question in Silicon Valley during any lull in the flow of shining private companies that get anointed as public companies. And we certainly have been in a long lull. This year, just one venture-backed tech company, Twilio, has made it public, compared to an average of 37 per year between 2001 and 2015. But the comeback question isn’t… Read More

Stripe brings its Connect marketplace platform to Europe, Stripe clone Paymill finds a buyer

moneys As the number of apps and sites for buying and selling goods and services continues to grow, we’re seeing a shakeout among the companies that help make those wheels of commerce turn, with the biggest of the lot continuing to scale up and those that have failed to grow getting swallowed up. Stripe, the startup based out of the U.S. that lets online businesses and apps quickly… Read More

Startup spending guide: Where to spend money

money-arrows There is no shortage of advice when it comes to which tools software companies should use to run their businesses. We’ve all come across numerous “Top 100 resources for startups”-type posts at least once as we Google our way to entrepreneurial success. But after reading just one of them, it’s not hard to go from “I have no idea what’s out there” to… Read More

Segment adds third-party sources like Zendesk and Stripe to help companies truly understand customer experience


Segment is an increasingly popular customer data aggregator that makes it easy for engineers to track funnel events, test new analytics partners, and combine data collected from websites, mobile apps, and servers. In a marketing technology universe littered with customer data tools, this can be really useful. At VB Insight, I studied the marketing analytics landscape and counted 700+ tools marketers use to house customer data and generate marketing insights. I didn’t collect all of them, and Segment doesn’t integrate with nearly all of them. Even still, in the classic “build vs. buy” dialectic — which was alive and well at VentureBeat’s own Mobile Summit this past week — Segment has historically offered the compelling alternative of “try.”

The new release, called Sources, is potentially much more powerful than that.

While web and mobile app data can be a massive undertaking unto itself, what about the droves of data collected in email campaigns, customer support channels, or payment systems? After all, customers don’t just use websites and mobile apps. They open emails, have conversations with salespeople, chat with customer support, and pay for stuff. These data sources typically live in their own silo — and in large, oftentimes fragmented companies, they are managed by their own engineering team with their own release and update cycles and data analysts.

In this model, tons of data gets left behind. And even in digitally mature companies thoroughly invested in customer analytics, they still have a hard time combining data sources with third-party systems — like contact center or payment information — and making it mean something.

Segment’s new offering is interesting because it’s drawing from rather than sending to cloud providers like Salesforce, Zendesk, Stripe, SendGrid, Mandrill, and Twilio, pulling information into a single database with just a few clicks. I usually scoff at the “5 mins to install, no engineering time required” vendor speak — but in Segment’s case, it’s actually true.
More importantly, with all of this actual customer data in one place, companies can finally understand the complete customer experience and explore how touchpoints across communication channels affect revenue, engagement, retention, and churn. It allows engineering and marketing teams to stop focusing so much on data collection and start thinking about the customers behind the data. I like to use the analogy of water at a well. Are your highly paid data analysts best used pumping a cistern or gathering water? Or would be they be more effective with an effective infrastructure in place, building cool irrigation apps with that water system to make your products grow? With sources, Segment customers can truly focus on growth initiatives. For instance, they can see which pages in an app prompt the most support tickets, or whether customers opting in via text are more engaged than those in email, or even how support tickets can drive purchases.

Trunk Club, Instacart, Mapbox, Udacity, 99Designs, and Angie’s List are some of the launch customers using Sources and spending less time gathering water. Combining data this way puts typically near-impossible tasks, like quantifying the value of customer support — or understanding the effects of email and text message campaigns over time — very reachable, if not downright testable.

I also caught up with Segment CEO Peter Reinhardt to learn a little more about what the release means for high-performing teams and what’s possible with all of this disparate third party data living in one place. Perhaps, most importantly, are the types of sources available on the product now and on the way. Reinhardt said, in an email, “We have 8 sources to start (Salesforce, Stripe, Zendesk, SendGrid, Mandrill, Intercom, Hubspot, and Twilio) with 2 more currently in beta (Mailchimp, SalesforceIQ). We’re planning to significantly increase the sources catalog in the coming months. The new categories we’ll start with include advertising (Google Adwords, Facebook Ads) and databases (MongoDB, Postgres).”

Segment has also seen significant growth over the past year. Reinhardt told me, “Sources builds on our considerable momentum over the last year, which includes the launch of new products like Warehouses, a Series B led by Thrive Capital, and an increase in headcount from 30 to 80.”

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