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Payments startup Stripe worth $35bn after raising $250m

Edmund Heaphy
Finance and news reporter
Online payments company Stripe's co-founder John Collison. Photo: Jacques Demarthon/AFP/Getty Images

Fast-growing online payments giant Stripe said on Thursday it had raised $250m (£200m) in a funding round that values the company at $35bn.

The valuation makes Stripe by far the most valuable private fintech company in the world, and means its price tag has climbed by about 50% since its previous funding round.

The valuation also puts Stripe well ahead of other Silicon Valley behemoths, like Airbnb and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

San Francisco-based Stripe was founded by two Irish brothers and provides the payment infrastructure for companies such as Spotify, Airbnb, Uber, Deliveroo, and Booking.com.

Venture capital giants Sequoia Capital, General Catalyst, and Andreessen Horowitz were among those that backed the company during the latest funding round.

Stripe said on Thursday that the funding will be used to accelerate its growth in three key areas: international expansion, growing its product suite, and extending its enterprise capabilities.

“Even now, in 2019, less than 8% of commerce happens online,” said John Collison, president and co-founder of Stripe, in a statement.

“We’re investing now to build the infrastructure that’ll power internet commerce in 2030 and beyond. If we get it right, we can help the internet fulfil its potential as an engine for global economic progress.”

Stripe, which says its mission is to expand the GDP of the internet, has grown primarily as a platform that integrates electronic payments and secure transactions.

But it is rapidly expanding into the world of finance.

This month alone, Stripe has launched two new products: Stripe Capital, which offers near-instant loans to its customers, and Stripe Corporate Card, a Visa credit card available to US businesses.

Stripe also recently launched in eight countries, including Estonia, Greece, and Portugal.

It said it would be expanding further in the coming months, bringing the total to 40 countries — or 70% of the global economy.

Stripe raised $100m from hedge fund group Tiger Global Management as recently as January, an investment that valued the company at $22.5bn (£18bn).

That followed a $245m series E investment — Stripe’s fifth round of significant fundraising — in September 2018, which valued the company at $20bn.

While Jack Dorsey’s Square has traditionally been considered a rival of Stripe, the company’s new direction puts it in direct competition with US financial giants.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM), for instance, has said that it wants to increase its share of the global treasury services market in part by expanding its e-commerce functions.

Earlier this year, it combined its business-to-business treasury services unit with its consumer-to-business merchant services division, hoping that a more streamlined offering could allow it to compete with the likes of Stripe and Apple Pay.