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STRIPE, the online payments firm founded by Limerick brothers Patrick (25) and John (23) Collison, has raised €59m in funding.

The online startup has announced it raised $80m (€59m) from venture capital investors in a deal that could value Stripe at a hefty €1.29bn.

The transaction places the 90-person San Francisco firm in the rarefied company of startups valued at more than €1bn, just three years after brothers Patrick and John Collison debuted their service.

The two brothers (inset right) were educated at Castletroy College in Limerick before earning names for themselves as leading entrepreneurs in the US.

Chief Executive Patrick Collison said the lofty valuation reflected the promise shown by his company, which processed billions of dollars in payments last year for businesses ranging from Lyft, the ridesharing company, to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The company did not disclose specific details on the total.

The startup's rapid growth has spurred talk in Silicon Valley of an insurgent threat to PayPal Inc, the eBay Inc subsidiary that has not faced serious competition in a decade.