In an effort to support early-stage startups, PayPal is teaming up with accelerators, incubators and venture capital firms to provide mentorship, customer service and free payment processing. For companies in the new program, called Startup Blueprint, PayPal will waive up to $50,000 in transaction fees for the first 18 months.
The program looks to be mutually beneficial, as it will encourage promising startups to use PayPal, the world's largest online payment processor, for their transactions. PayPal is giving Startup Blueprint companies the star treatment, including "the kind of 'white glove' support large companies like British Airways get, offering them a named, local contact at PayPal who will manage their account and help with their business models, plus access to startup mentors and evangelists," John Lunn, global director of PayPal's developer network, told the .
PayPal is focusing on tech startups that are building software or hardware for the web and mobile devices. Only private companies making less than $3 million a year or less than five years old are eligible for the program. And there is no application process; startups must be either nominated by a Blueprint partner or invited to join by PayPal itself.
As of now, PayPal has only three partners: London-based accelerator Seedcamp, which invests in European startups; 500 Startups, an early-stage seed fund and incubator based in Mountain View, Calif.; and Elevator, an incubator in Tel Aviv. But according to the Startup Blueprint website, PayPal plans to form additional partnerships soon.