49. Stripe

Visa is banking on this platform

Founders: Patrick Collison (CEO), John Collison
Launched: 2010
Funding: $450 million
Valuation: $9.2 billion (PitchBook)
Disrupting: Online/mobile payments, software, credit cards
Rival: Square

George Kavallines

Stripe co-founders — brothers John and Patrick Collison — have always believed that the problems companies face in implementing online payment solutions come from code and design issues, not finance. That's why in 2010, after both had dropped out of college, they decided to build a developer-focused, instant set-up payment platform that any company could use and scale to size.

Read More FULL LIST: 2017 DISRUPTOR 50

Stripe has become just that, and its growth has been impressive. The San Francisco-based company was recently valued at $9.2 billion and has pulled in $450 million of venture money from American Express, Visa, CapitalG (Google's venture arm) and General Catalyst.

The company makes money by collecting a swipe fee of 2.9 percent, plus 30 cents for every transaction it processes (the same as PayPal). The company has processed billions of dollars' worth of transactions for more than 100,000 companies, including Blue Apron, Target, Warby Parker, Lyft and DocuSign. It also processes payments for scores of small businesses.

Stripe is mum on revenue figures, but does reveal that it has users in 110 countries and that it has processed at least one payment for half of all internet users. That's a lot of users, which is why this unicorn is consistently mentioned as a logical IPO candidate. Don't hold your breath: In April, Patrick Collison spoke at a tech conference and said a public offering won't be happening anytime soon.

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