Stripe has become the most valuable private company Silicon Valley has produced, after investors struck a deal valuing the online payment processor at $ 95 billion.
Participants in Stripe’s latest financing, which raised $ 600 million in new equity, include the Irish National Treasury Management Agency, Allianz, Fidelity, Baillie Gifford, AXA and Sequoia Capital.
Founded in 2010 by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison – now aged 32 and 30 – Stripe’s valuation nearly tripled in less than a year, surpassing those achieved by Facebook and Uber before their IPO.
The company’s rising valuation reflects a boom in e-commerce and digital payments business that has boosted the values of listed rivals such as Adyen and Square, as well as Checkout.com, a London-based payments startup that has been valued. to $ 15 billion in January. .
However, some investors have questioned the sustainability of the surge in tech valuations, as rising inflation expectations spill over into the U.S. bond market and vaccine rollouts accelerate the reopening of locked-in economies.
The Biden administration’s $ 1.9 billion stimulus bill has also drawn investors to “old economy” sectors, such as banks and industrialists.
Stripe has led the wave of e-commerce growth, with more than 200,000 new businesses in Europe joining the platform since the start of the pandemic. John Collison said his systems are processing nearly 5,000 requests per second in 2020, including payments, refunds, customer data checks and other queries on his application programming interface.
“Stripe is now bigger [by payment volumes] that the whole ecommerce market was when we started working on Stripe, ”he added.
Number of new companies in Europe that have signed up to the platform since the start of the pandemic
Former Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney and Christa Davies, Aon’s CFO, both joined Stripe’s board earlier this year. The company also brought in General Motors’ Dhivya Suryadevara as CFO.
Despite the new CFO and board members, whose appointments are often seen as precursors to a public listing, Stripe has chosen to remain private at a time when many other tech companies are going public.
Moving away from public markets has allowed Stripe to keep tabs on financial details; he did not disclose his income or profitability.
However, a person close to the San Francisco-based company said it processes a larger volume of payments than its European rival Adyen, which has a market cap of 60 billion euros and has processed 303.6 billion euros. euros in 2020.
Stripe’s latest funding will fuel its expansion in Europe, including a plan to hire 1,000 more people in its Dublin office over the next five years, and support upcoming launches in Brazil, India and Indonesia later. this year.
Investors previously assessed Stripe to $ 35 billion in September 2019 before adding $ 600 million to that funding as the pandemic spreads last April.
The Collison brothers founded Stripe after swapping Limerick for Silicon Valley to sell their first business, a tool for eBay sellers called Auctomatic, to more than 3 M € in 2008. This agreement transformed the teenagers of the time into millionaires.
Stripe’s early investors included PayPal founders Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, as well as influential Silicon Valley start-up accelerator Y Combinator.
Today, Stripe’s valuation is above the $ 80 billion mark that Facebook received from private side trades before its IPO in 2012. Uber’s valuation reached $ 72 billion before its IPO. in 2019.
Stripe also overtook Elon Musk’s rocket firm SpaceX, which briefly became the largest venture capital firm in the United States after investors gave it a valuation of $ 74 billion last month. Globally, it’s behind only ByteDance, the $ 180 billion Chinese parent company of TikTok, and Ant Group, the fintech company that was forced to delay his list last year.
Stripe, which cuts down on every transaction and its processes, has started selling payment services to developers at other tech startups, allowing it to build on some of the fastest growing companies in the world.
Customers now include enterprise software companies Zoom, Salesforce, and Atlassian, as well as e-commerce services Shopify, Instacart, and Deliveroo, as well as Facebook-owned Uber and Instagram.