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Wheelings & Dealings: Billion Dollar Club Sees New Member in Payments Startup Stripe

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January 27, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: Billion Dollar Club Sees New Member in Payments Startup Stripe

By Joe Rizzo
TMCnet Contributing Writer

Last week it was reported that Stripe had raised $80 million in Series C funding. Stripe is a company that provides a way for individuals and businesses to accept payments over the internet. It was co-founded two years ago by brothers Patrick and John Collison.

Previously it had received around $40 million in investment from Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst Partners, Redpoint Ventures, SV Angel and PayPal (News - Alert) co-founders Peter Thiel and Elon Musk.

This time around, leading the funding was Peter Thiel's Founder's Fund, along with Sequoia capital, Khosla, and Allen & Co. Combined with the previous funding, this now brings the online payment company’s total funding to over $130 million.

The San Francisco startup is among several companies trying to simplify how businesses accept payments online and through mobile devices. Stripe provides easy-to-use computer code that any merchant can plug into their website or mobile app to begin accepting credit-card payments.

In keeping with this idea, Stripe wants to be the backbone of payments both online and for mobile devices on a worldwide level. The company hopes to achieve this by focusing on the code behind electronic commerce and mobile commerce as opposed to the financial aspects.

One of the things that makes Stripe so appealing to for smaller and startup companies is the fact that it is so each to use. These companies can begin to accept payments right away. One problem that is foreseen is that as these smaller companies grow, they find the need for more information.

Once the business grows and they start to accept more payments, there comes the natural need to follow the information more closely. This leads to wanting more reports and analytics. Unfortunately for companies like Stripe, this usually means that these companies shift their business to larger companies who can deliver more services.

In keeping with this way of thinking, TechCrunch believes there is a good likelihood that Stripe will get scooped up by one of the larger payment companies within the next couple of years.

John Collison, who, in addition to being a co-founder, is Stripe’s president, said "Payments are still startlingly disconnected and fragmented. Less than 5 percent of consumer spending happens online today. It's pretty clearly going to be much larger than that."

The new funds should help in Stripe's goal of international expansion. Right now Stripe is accepted in just 12 countries. Entering each new country requires meeting local laws governing payment providers and sometimes requires Stripe to team up with existing businesses.

 While the company doesn't disclose its revenue or number of merchants, its software is now used in thousands of popular mobile apps, including ride-sharing service Lyft and grocery delivery app Instacart. Its total payment volume has doubled since last September.

With the $80 million that Stripe received in this Series C funding, its valuation now stands at $1.75 billion.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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