Collisons turn down PayPal's bid for Stripe
PayPal tried to lure Limerick brothers John and Patrick Collison to sell their red-hot start-up Stripe to the online payments giant for hundreds of millions of dollars in the past month.
The two brothers are reported to have rejected PayPal's approach and have chosen instead to focus on expanding their San Francisco-based business into Europe.
Stripe has been valued at up to $500m but could be worth much more as it targets the mega-market for online payments.
All Things Digital, an influential technology website, said that Stripe had been the first-choice purchase for PayPal, which is owned by online retailer eBay.
After the Collisions turned PayPal down, it decided to spend $800m on online and mobile payments firm Braintree instead. An eBay spokesperson said it does not comment on "rumours". Patrick Collision did not reply to emailed questions from the Sunday Independent at the time of publication.
The Collison brothers are well funded for expansion after raising $40m from Silicon Valley venture capitalists including Andreessen Horowitz (a previous backer of Skype and Digg) and Sequoia Capital (an investor in PayPal and Apple). The company's angel investors include Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, who co-founded PayPal.
Other private investors in the company include Paul Buchheit, the developer of Gmail, and Geoff Ralston, the creator of Yahoo Mail.
The 20-something Collison brothers launched Stripe in Ireland and the UK earlier this month and the business is already a success in America, where it aims to cut out interaction with the bank for an online business and operate as a trusted middleman.
Stripe is running trials in Belgium, Germany, Australia, Spain and other countries in its bid for global expansion.
The Collison brothers' first tech start-up, Auctomatic, was bought in 2008 for a rumoured $5m by Canadian company Live Current Media. The company was founded only 10 months earlier. The brothers show no signs of being prepared to let go of Stripe, however.