Tuesday 20 February 2018

Former Young Scientist winners' online payment firm on verge of major global Twitter deal

The Collison brothers, John (L) and Patrick (R)
The Collison brothers, John (L) and Patrick (R)
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Stripe, the online payments firm created by two young Limerick brothers, is reportedly on the verge of a major global deal with Twitter.

The firm, founded by ex-Bt Young Scientist winners Patrick (24) and John (22) Collison, is reportedly in advanced discussions to enable Twitter allow its users to buy things on the the social messaging platform. The move could change the way people purchase things online and would transform loss-making Twitter’s business model.

The deal, which has not yet been confirmed by Stripe or Twitter, was first reported last night by Recode, a new online publication created by senior former Wall Street Journal technology writers. The deal would allow Twitter clients to accept credit card payments for products or services within the social media platform.

If completed, the deal will mark a new level of market leadership for Stripe and confirm its valuation as a €1bn-plus company. The company now employs over 60 people, based largely in San Francisco. Stripe, whose competition includes PayPal, recently opened an office in London.

The company is regularly described by US financial analysts as one of a small number of firms to constitute the "next big thing" from Silicon Valley. A 2012 round of funding in the US valued the firm at €80m. However, off-market trading services and technology analysts now value the firm at over €500m.

Patrick Collison recently told The Irish Independent that there was no intention to cash in on the company’s valuation yet.

"If we were interested in selling the company and making money quickly, we would have a laser focus on the US,” he said. “Instead, we're absolutely focused on opening international offices and expanding, which is very hard."

At present, Twitter’s sole mainstream revenue source comes from advertising and ‘promoted tweets’. This has not yielded enough to match the firm’s development costs to date, with losses widening in 2013.

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