Firm set up by Irish brothers worth €8.5bn after six years
Stripe, the online payments firm started by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison, has landed a €142m round of funding which values the company at a staggering €8.5bn.
The €142m round confirms the company as the world's most valuable financial technology start-up and one of Silicon Valley's fastest growing private firms.
Started in 2010, Stripe provides easy-to-use online payment tools for businesses. It now has thousands of customers, including Adidas, Macy's, Bloomingdale's and the US presidential campaigns of both major parties.
Its growth comes as online shopping continues to boom, with €7.5bn now spent online by Irish consumers alone each year. Globally, online commerce is growing at 23pc a year, compared to 6pc a year for all retail.
Patrick (28) is a former BT Young Scientist winner. Both he and brother John (25) attended Castletroy College in Limerick.
The two brothers have grown the company in San Francisco but recently opened a Dublin office with close to 50 people now working in it.
Half of all US internet users have purchased something from a Stripe user in the last year, according to a spokeswoman for Stripe.
The company's main competition comes from US rivals such as Braintree, which is owned by PayPal.
Stripe's latest funding round comes at a time when many private technology firms are struggling to hold their valuation.
So-called 'down rounds', where companies see their value fall as they take on new investment, have become common in the technology industry. Investors have taken a second look at some of the technology companies being funded, as multinationals such as Twitter struggle to turn a profit.
Stripe's €142m round is being co-financed by Google's investment arm, CapitalG, and General Catalyst as well as existing investors such as Sequoia Capital.
A spokeswoman said the company will use the cash to look for companies to buy and to expand around the world at a faster pace.
It currently has users in 110 countries.
Earlier this year, it launched new tools to help entrepreneurs in developing countries start businesses online through the use of Stripe-organised online facilities and banking services.
It will also invest in more uses for its service, such as blocking fraud, incorporating a company and other activities.
"As the global economy builds on increasingly tech-enabled rails, Stripe is doubling down on software tools that allow more companies to get started," said the spokeswoman.