Image: Screenshot, March 15, 2021. Source: Stripe.com
By Padraic Halpin
DUBLIN (Reuters) – Digital payments giant Stripe’s value soared to $95 billion after it capitalized on a boom in ecommerce with a round of funding that pushed it past Elon Musk’s SpaceX as the most valuable U.S. startup.
Founded in 2010 by Patrick and John Collison when the Irish brothers were barely out of their teens, Stripe is used by millions of businesses, including more than 50 companies that each process over $1 billion annually to receive payments and bill customers.
Its list of customers includes Google, Uber and Amazon, and more recently shipping giant Maersk and Jaguar Land Rover.
Participants in the San Francisco- and Dublin-headquartered company’s latest financing, which raised $600 million, include units of Allianz SE, AXA SA, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Co, Sequoia Capital and Ireland’s sovereign wealth fund.
The company said it would use the capital to invest in its European operations – which cover 31 of the 42 countries in which Stripe is active – and expand its global payments and treasury network.
At $95 billion, Stripe is now more valuable than any bank in the euro zone.
“The pandemic taught us many things about society, including how much can be achieved — and paid for — online,” Stripe Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara said in a statement.
“While Stripe already processes hundreds of billions of dollars per year for millions of businesses worldwide, the opportunity ahead is much larger … than it was when the company was started 10 years ago.”
Suryadevara joined from General Motors Co last year, where she was one of the industry’s youngest and highest-ranking executives. Stripe also added former head of the UK and Canadian central banks Mark Carney to its board last month.
One of the other backers in the financing announced on Sunday, German insurer Allianz’s digital investment unit Allianz X said it saw “astounding growth potential” in Stripe.
As part of the $50 million invested by the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, Stripe will add over 1,000 more jobs in the Collison brothers’ native country over the next five years.
From Limerick in the southwest of Ireland, the Collisons sold their first business for a reported $5 million while John, the younger of the two, was still in school.
The pair left Limerick to study at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where they founded Stripe.
While Stripe surpassed the $74 billion which rocket company SpaceX was valued at last month when it raised $850 million of equity, TikTok-owner ByteDance of China is valued at some $180 billion.
Additional reporting by Scott DiSavino in New York, Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru and Sujata Rao in London; editing by Peter Cooney and Jason Neely.