Stripe becomes top US startup as valuation jumps to $95 bn
Stripe Inc’s valuation almost tripled in less than a year to $95 billion with its latest funding round, making it the most valuable U.S. startup.
The online payments processing company drew $600 million in its latest fundraising, Stripe said in a statement.
The valuation figure is at the top of the range Bloomberg News reported in November, when Stripe was in talks with investors that would boost its value to more than $70 billion, with the possibility of pushing it to as high as $100 billion. The valuation also overtook billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Instacart Inc., according to CBInsights data.
Stripe was founded in 2010 by two Irish siblings: 32-year-old Patrick Collison and his younger brother John, 30. Their net worth surged to $11.4 billion each with the latest valuation, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, up from $4.3 billion in the last funding round.
The company’s software, which competes with Square Inc. and Paypal Holdings Inc., is used by businesses to accept payments. Customers include Amazon.com Inc., Salesforce.com Inc., and Lyft Inc.
Stripe will invest in its European operations, in particular its headquarters in Dublin, to support surging demand and expand its global payments and treasury network. It also has a dual headquarters in San Francisco, according to its website.
Primary investors in Stripe also include the digital investment unit of Allianz Group, Axa SA, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Co. and Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency, the company said Sunday.
Stripe didn’t really need the money in spite of the fundraising, Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara said. “I view this as a bit more opportunistic,” she said in an interview on Sunday. The company “is highly capital efficient.”
“It will just sit on the balance sheet,” Mike Moritz, partner at Sequoia Capital and a Stripe board member, said in an interview, emphasizing that the money will just be “a rainy day fund — it pays to have a little more insurance.”
Stripe has benefited as some of its customers such as Instacart, which started out small, grew into significant companies. For Stripe, “the growth has been rapid and perhaps more rapid than anticipated,” Moritz said.
Both Moritz and Suryadevara said Stripe will continue to seek out acquisitions. The company isn’t focusing on an initial public offering right now, the CFO said, and picked investors who shared its long-term view. “The next 10 years and beyond are even more exciting,” she added.
Mark Carney, former governor of both the Bank of England and Bank of Canada, joined its board last month. He will help guide Stripe’s efforts to enable more businesses to bring funding to emerging carbon removal technologies.
Stripe, which sells software allowing businesses to accept online payments, has been a beneficiary of the e-commerce boom accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. The company has recently branched out to offer checking accounts to businesses through e-commerce providers, working with banks including Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Barclays Plc.