Founders: Patrick Collison (CEO), John Collison
Headquarters: San Francisco
Funding: $1.6 billion
Valuation: $36 billion
Industry: Global e-payments
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 5 (No. 13 in 2019)
With many people throughout the world under lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the move to shopping online has never been greater. That's good news for digital payments platform Stripe. Brothers John and Patrick Collison started Stripe in 2010 to make the whole digital payments space easier. The hurdle with payment platforms, as they saw it, wasn't on the finance side. Difficulties more often were due to coding and design issues. That's when they decided to build a developer-focused instant-setup payment platform any company could use and scale.
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Underscoring this massive shift to online commerce in the wake of the pandemic, the company announced in April that it had secured $600 million in new funding. This is the largest round yet for the San Francisco-based company. The money comes from Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst and Sequoia — all existing investors — bringing Stripe's valuation to an estimated $36 billion.
Today thousands of companies, including Amazon, Slack, Glossier, Shopify and Under Armour, use Stripe's software tools to securely accept payments from anywhere in the world. The company makes money by charging these customers a swipe fee of 2.9%, plus 30 cents for every transaction it processes (the same as PayPal). The money comes on top of $250 million raised in September. No word from either Collison brother about when — or if — they will take their company public.
In September, Stripe announced the formation of Stripe Capital, a lender for customers' small businesses. Securing financing from traditional banks is time-consuming, and lending standards often are overly strict. Stripe Capital will advance funds to a small business, usually within a few days. The business will repay the loan by giving Stripe a fixed percentage of daily sales until the loan is paid off.
While Stripe isn't processing PPP loans, it has published guides on its website for users to seek government aid in a number of countries.