Stripe announced today that it has acquired Tonic — an app development and prototyping service — in a move meant to shore up its developer offering. While financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, it was revealed that Tonic has rebranded to RunKit and will continue to operate independently.
“RunKit is a node playground in your browser,” the company explains, so instead of having to spend hours setting up the right workplace on your computer, you can do everything right in your browser.
Tolmasky states in a blog post that conversations between his company and Stripe began a few months ago, when the two talked about “our vision of building the future of development tools.” He wrote: “I was already aware that Stripe had a history of investing in development, but Patrick [Collison, Stripe’s chief executive] made clear that lowering the bar to development is fundamentally aligned with Stripe’s interest in increasing the leverage of developers around the world.”
I'm very excited about the potential of RunKit: https://t.co/QoZDh3ol9A
— Patrick Collison (@patrickc) September 13, 2016
Stripe will keep RunKit as an independent subsidiary for now and will likely treat it just as Twitter, Google, Facebook, and other companies have done with developer tools. The payment processing service does have a variety of tools available, including Atlas, that developers can incorporate into their own apps. However, the inclusion of RunKit is a sign that Stripe wants to help developers build more holistic and quality applications by providing all the necessary tools — such as prototyping, analytics, monetization, and more. And when the need to incorporate payment processing arises, developers will hopefully think of Stripe.
With Stripe appealing to more merchants and developers, both here in the U.S. and abroad — in Cuba, for example — being able to provide developer tools to those who want to reach across borders is particularly important. The higher the quality of the application, the greater the chances of a good return. It’ll also benefit Stripe Relay, as the company makes a push to help merchants sell on mobile.
Although RunKit remains independent, there’s a good chance that its capabilities could be integrated into the core Stripe offering in future.
Beyond Tolmasky, RunKit lists three others on the team: Ross Boucher, Wolf Rentzsch, and Pieter Ouwerkerk. The company did not disclose how much it has raised in venture capital.