Facebook recruits retail partners for big Gifts holiday push

Facebook is going big with its Gifts product for the holidays, announcing a bunch of partners including Baby Gap, Dean & Deluca, Fab, Pandora and Mondavi Winery. The Gifts feature, which is now available to tens of millions of U.S. users, is rolling out over time.

With $35M in new funding, Braintree wants to take payments global

While Braintree has gained attention more recently for powering payments for Uber, Airbnb and Fab, it’s been pursuing a larger vision of fueling online and mobile commerce around the world. And now it’s got some serious funding to go after that goal, thanks to a new injection of $35 million in Series B funding led by new investor NEA, along with participation from existing investors Accel Partners, RRE Ventures and Greycroft.

The new investment brings Braintree’s total funding to more than $70 million and helps it expand its staff of 100 employees as it push into more overseas markets. The company in August launched in Canada and Europe and now serves 31 countries, with more markets set to open up later this year. It is processing more than $5 billion in payments a year — $1 billion of that in mobile commerce — for more than 3,000 mobile and online merchants.

The company has billed itself as a one-stop shop for startups and merchants that want one payment platform they can rely on as they grow. And it’s hoping to be a go-to resource for overseas merchants who don’t have many options to enable payments and online commerce. Braintree competes against PayPal (s ebay) and Stripe for developers getting started with payments but it also goes up against Authorize.net (s v), Cybersource and others for larger customers.

Braintree supports 130 currencies and recently added instant approval for merchants. And with Braintree’s acquisition of mobile payment startup Venmo in August, Braintree is stepping into the consumer business.

Bill Ready, Braintree’s CEO said he wants to create the infrastructure for commerce that developers and merchants can build on top of.

“What Braintree has done to enable single-click check-out, international payments and making it available for every startup and developer, we were the first to do it in US and we think the whole world should have access to it,” Ready said.

Image courtesy of Flickr user foforix

Online men’s retailer Frank & Oak raises $5M, led by Lightbank

Frank & Oak, a Montreal-based digital-only men’s fashion brand, has raised $5 million in a Series A round of funding led by Lightbank. Since launching in February, the company said it has attracted 200,000 members and is growing at a rapid clip.

EBay updates site to be more personal, Pinterest-like

eBay has redesigned its core shopping experience with a new Pinterest-style home page, better product pages, search functionality and faster payments. The idea is to make the eBay experience more personalized for consumers.

Pinterest rival Fancy gets into group gifting

New York-based social commerce platform Fancy is rolling out a new option that lets users organize group gifts. The startup also announced a new partnership with American Express that it says could mark the beginning of an extended relationship.

Is hot payment startup Stripe worth half a billion?

Stripe, which launched its service less than ten months ago, is now valued at hundreds of millions of dollars after a new funding round of $20 million. The company has built a big following with its simple payment platform that lets developers easily add payment services.

PayPal’s key to winning mobile payments: data

PayPal’s years of experience in online payments is one of its biggest assets as it chases mobile and in-store transactions. But the by product of all that experience — mounds of data — could be an even bigger weapon. PayPal’s chief scientist Mok Oh explains the possibilities.

Amid growing pains, Etsy raises $40 million

The day before thousands of Etsy members plan to protest the online marketplace over its definition of handmade, the NY-based startup announced that it had raised $40 million in Series F funding, bringing its total funding to about $91 million.

AmEx lets Twitter users turn tweets into coupons

American Express is partnering with Twitter and letting its members link a merchant coupon to their card by tweeting out a hashtag from a retailer. When a member goes to use the card that’s been synced to their Twitter account, their discount is automatically redeemed.