Throne builds a global gifting marketplace for micro-influencers with Stripe

Throne helps micro-influencers improve content with a gift registry solution. Throne's online store includes products from partner retailers, and micro-influencers create wishlists of the products in the store that they'd like. Fans purchase products from creators' wishlists, and Throne protects private payment and shipping details.

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Popular social media content creators quickly build communities of followers who look for insights and answers about everything from computer gear and video games to hot sauces and clothing trends. Micro-influencers – creators with up to 300,000 total followers across channels like YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, and TikTok – struggle to improve their content because they often lack funds for professional sound and lighting equipment, and products they can review. And even when fans want to help, both creators and fans are understandably unwilling to share their home addresses and bank information to make product donations possible.

Throne's three co-founders realised they could help. They envisioned a gift-giving platform that enables fans to purchase what their favourite creators need from Throne's online store – stocked with products from retail partners – while protecting everyone's private information. Throne would fund its operations from commissions earned by facilitating the sales of products from hundreds of partner retailers, including Amazon, Bose, JBL, Vertagear, 3Dio, Health-Ade, and Alo.

Initially, Throne's co-founders needed a trusted payment processor so they could launch their business as soon as possible. The platform became an immediate success, which soon brought new challenges. Throne needed to incorporate its business, add global payment capabilities including cross-border payouts, improve checkout experiences, and simplify partner onboarding. Throne also needed an enterprise-grade fraud mitigation solution.


In 2021, Throne's co-founders started their journey by using Stripe Payments to manage credit card payments in the US. When Throne started growing rapidly, the founders incorporated their business using the Stripe Atlas program, which automates the completion and filing of legal documents. Throne also built a global marketplace using Stripe Connect to accelerate onboarding of partner retailers. Connect simplifies integrations with their online stores, facilitates cross-border payouts, and manages Know Your Customer (KYC) obligations. With Connect, Throne can easily offer experience-enhancing features as well. For example, Throne uses Connect's split payment capabilities so multiple fans can contribute to a single gift. Throne also added a gift fund feature that fans can contribute to, which allows creators to purchase products from non-partner retailers.

In 2023, to improve its checkout flow, Throne adopted Stripe’s Optimized Checkout Suite, which includes Stripe Elements, a set of embeddable UI components. Developers used the Payment Elementto dynamically surface the most relevant global payment methods and easily add and remove new payment methods with no code. Throne used the Express Checkout Element to present digital wallets including Apple Pay and Google Pay – and it added Link, a secure one-click checkout that auto-fills customers’ payment information.

To verify that people are who they say they are when using Throne's platform, the company implemented Stripe Identity. Throne also deployed Stripe Radar – a fraud prevention solution that’s built into Payments – to obtain an instant risk-assessment score for credit cards used in transactions.


Throne expands its marketplace to 89 countries in just three years
By partnering with Stripe, Throne's co-founders opened their initial marketplace in less than one week. And when demand immediately took off, they were able to quickly incorporate Throne for $500 by using Atlas.

“Stripe Atlas is the gold standard for incorporating a business," said Leonhard Soenke, co-founder of Throne. “With Atlas, Stripe takes you by the hand and guides you through the process, so you know everything is set up properly even if you don't have a legal background or team.”

Today, only three years after Throne started operating, over 500,000 creators in 89 countries use the platform to purchase over $80 million in gifts from more than 600 partner brands in five main currencies and with payment methods such as digital wallets.

Developers easily add cross-border payments and new payment methods
By building its marketplace with Connect, Throne's developers rapidly onboard partner retailers using customisable processes, typically in less than two hours. The company can also quickly evolve its offerings to meet new requirements. For example, with the Payment Element, Throne was able to easily add payment methods including Cash App Pay, Android Pay, and iDEAL. And since Throne made Apple Pay available through the Express Checkout Element, 14% of all purchases on the platform have been made using the digital wallet. Additionally, business teams use financial insights from the Stripe Dashboard to determine which countries and currencies Throne should support.

“Stripe and its ecosystem of products are amazingly helpful because they're easy to deploy out-of-the-box and they just work,” said Soenke.

Throne improves security and acceptance rates with data-driven insights and controls
By using Identity and Radar, Throne increases revenue by reducing fraud and blocked payments from legitimate buyers. Not only has it reduced chargebacks by more than 20% but Throne has also improved acceptance rates by more than 30%. Additionally, because developers don't have to write any code to modify the company's fraud mitigation model in Radar, business teams can adjust the rules that govern how payments should be handled based on their risk scores.

“Stripe has found a smooth way to cater to the needs of both developers and businesspeople,” said Heiner Stinner, co-founder of Throne. “The financial and business impact of that can't be underestimated.”

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