Stripe – An Entrepreneurial Success Story
Stripe, a company valued at $36 billion, is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and was founded in 2010 by young Irish entrepreneurial brothers John and Patrick Collison.
While Stripe has been the biggest success over the course of their careers, it was not their first.
In 2005, at the age of 16, Patrick won the 41st Young Scientist of the Year for his work with Lisp, prior to leaving high school early in order to attend MIT.
During his freshman year, he founded his first company, Auctomatic, and joined Y Combinator in 2007, before selling the company after ten months to Live Current Media for $5 million. He joined the company as the Director of Product Engineering in 2008.
His brother, John, is also talented, having received the highest score ever recorded by a student for the Irish Certificate. He went on to attend Harvard in the fall of 2009, before joining his brother to found Stripe.
The brothers were working on other projects at the time and were frustrated with the difficulty for companies to accept payments online. They set out to fix the problem and Stripe was born.
The core feature of their initial offering was to create a simple way for developers to integrate payment processing into company payment systems. To differentiate themselves from other service providers, they marketed their services to developers rather than traditional companies.
Their first client came along 2 weeks after they finalized the prototype of the product. 280 North was a fellow Y Combinator participant and its founder, Ross Boucher, would go on to become one of Stripe’s first employees. Their ease-of-use led to increasing their client base significantly through word-of-mouth advertising within the developer community. Additionally, Stripe introduced transparent pricing, which helps their users to understand exactly how much they would be charged each month, which proved especially helpful for startup companies.
Stripe was not the original name of the company. During the initial stages of the business, they were named Dev/Payments. However, they understood that this was not the most marketable name. After careful consideration, they renamed themselves Stripe. As a result, they purchased the domain name Stripe.com from an MIT alumni in June 2011.
While the company was initially bootstrapped, they quickly received funding from outside investors. Their initial funding was from Y Combinator investor Paul Graham for between $20k and $30k. In 2011, they went on to receive $2 million in funding from Peter Theil, Sequoia Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz. To date Stripe has received over $1.6 billion in funding from 30 investors over 14 rounds of funding.
In July 2015, Stripe announced a strategic investment partnership with Visa. This would allow Stripe to take advantage of Visa’s vast array of technical tools, while allowing Visa to provide their customers with better online and mobile payment solutions.
Stripe also has a technology partnership with Amazon to create simpler payment solutions for users.
Stripe has plans to continue to expand its offerings from its core product. They provide APIs that handle anything from payment acceptance and processing to settlement and reconciliation, while ensuring that their systems are both secure and in compliance with government regulations.
They are working to create resources that will provide companies with the ability to create their own internal analytics tools.
In addition, Stripe has plans in the works to create Stripe Atlas, which will help entrepreneurs to quickly establish their own U.S. incorporated businesses.
While they are seeking to expand their service offerings, Stripe plans to expand their customer base across Asia, including China, Japan, Southeast Asia, and India. The company also has plans to increase their staff by 40% in 2021.
Stripe has come a long way over the course of its history, starting from scratch to build a business currently worth $36 billion.
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