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Kyle Pollock for Rapyd

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Building Partnerships and Why Developers Should Care

The Long Game to Build a Successful Platform

“I basically built a meal delivery service before DoorDash.” That’s what a close friend and developer told me about his failed project in the early 2000s in Silicon Valley. I’ve seen too many promising projects with good product design be abandoned by developers because of a lack of customers. I heard from another colleague, a failed zoom portal, and I myself worked on a project, Booklify, to buy and sell textbooks directly with students. Whether we build our own app, or are on a product team, I believe all developers should deeply care about partnerships to build successful platforms.

Before we jump at what makes an app successful with the right UX and product design, I want to get into some examples about why partnerships are so important for long term success. Without the right partnerships, customers, and clients to keep going, well designed UX and products can die too.

What is a Partnership?

A partnership is an agreement that is mutually beneficial to both parties to deepen or expand services to new and existing customers.

Well known business partnerships from recognizable brands include: Apple + Nike, Red Bull + GoPro, Starbucks + Spotify, and we all can remember the Starbucks + Apple iTunes free pick of the week.

Partnerships Help Revenue Streams

Partnerships have become a cornerstone for the payments industry to grow, expand, and succeed. Banks have helped fintech companies with compliance while receiving new customers through better tech and user experiences. Credit cards like Visa and Mastercard have thrived on partnerships with companies from all industries.

Fintech and the global payments system has been long described as “fragmented” whereas each region has different local payments, technical barriers, and even network systems behind everything. This forces the need for companies to build partnerships to survive and expand.

Now with payment methods like digital wallets, and mobile payments, partnerships will only continue to grow.

“Business leaders I talk with all over the globe believe their current business model will be unrecognizable in five years and that ecosystems are the primary change agent.” writes Arik Shtilman, CEO of Rapyd.

Arik explains further in this article, these ecosystems are built by partnerships.

For example, Rapyd’s partnership with Visa and Mastercard has been critical to its expansion worldwide, bringing more customers to the digital payments ecosystem.

Why Developers Should Care About Partnerships

For developers, partnerships can be critical when building websites or providing payment solutions for businesses. Payment plugins and website CMS providers have enabled ways to onboard third parties to grow potential partnerships. Some of these partnerships have led further to acquisitions like Wordpress acquiring WooCommerce. Dev Shops, or developer agencies, often partner with different payment products to expand their offering to any SMB or corporate client.

If you are a developer building a product, then it is important to keep in mind how you structure your API or allow for integrations. Partnerships can happen years after products are built, and third party connections can be integrated to work with other API calls.

Rapyd started out as a modular payment system for businesses, but began to grow into a global payments network with hundreds of countries.

Rapyd has hosted multiple hackathons where developers get a chance to build a project with the Rapyd API, and compete for a grand prize. These amazing developers receive funds to continue their projects in hopes of creating fintech platforms for the future. Several of these project owners move on and are willing to partner with other companies to grow their offering and revenue. One of the winners of a Rapyd hackathon had that same approach, and offered to build a number of custom integrations. That project is now doing over $100M in transactions annually.

Partnerships and Sales

A few months ago I noticed Paul Graham shared about a startup that executed to pleasantly meet his expectations. He had offered praise for this level of execution, mentioned its rarity, and cast a vision for the startup’s future.

Today I had office hours with a startup I hadn't talked to since before Covid. The last time we talked I told them what to do and what they'd look like a few years later if they did it. They did it, and that's exactly what they look like now. I was so pleased. This never happens.

— Paul Graham (@paulg) August 9, 2022

Scott Stevenson, CEO of Rally, asked what they did?

Turned themselves into an enterprise sales organization.

— Paul Graham (@paulg) August 9, 2022

It’s clear this success story was due to the startup’s sales development as having enterprise clients would stabilize their revenue. I would bet a few partnerships would be in their very near future, and some may have come out of these talks with enterprise organizations to deepen long-term relationships.

Partnerships can help reach new customers, expand to new regions, and bring co-marketing for your company. I previously mentioned several known brands that have partnered together. Rapyd has been the first with its partner, Bnext, to expand to the size of its network in LATAM.

Ultimately, partnerships allows more people, platforms, and organizations to participate in market because it removes the complexity by going it alone. Each party benefits from a great partnership, and moves closer to a connected economy. Just as a developer collaborating with other developers can create a diversified skillset in more programming languages, partnerships help both parties in many ways. If you are developing a platform or on a product team, it is important to build to allow for further integrations for future partnerships that are critical for growth.

Learn more about the Rapyd Partner Program at

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