Stripe hires Google veteran Matt Henderson to drive product strategy from Dublin

30 May 2019

Stripe’s Dublin office. Image: Stripe

Dublin is now Stripe’s fastest growing office.

The Collison brothers’ fast-growing payments platform, Stripe, has hired Google veteran and entrepreneur Matt Henderson to lead engineering operations from its Dublin hub.

Reporting to David Singleton, Stripe’s CTO, Henderson will shape the development of Stripe’s products to power the region’s most exciting internet businesses.

‘There’s a super-talented, growing team across EMEA, and Dublin is becoming a major software engineering hub’

Prior to Stripe, Henderson led Google’s strategy for scaling Google Play, the global apps and games marketplace.

Like many employees at Stripe, he is a former entrepreneur, having built shopping analytics platform Rangespan, which was acquired by Google in 2014.

Henderson also built and scaled Amazon’s efforts in Europe in the very early days of the e-commerce giant. He started there as a product manager, and ended up leading Amazon’s marketplace strategy in Europe, heading large teams across multiple functions including product management, account management and business development.

SCA to change e-commerce in Europe forever

Henderson’s appointment comes just as Stripe rallies its resources for the onset of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) in September, the core development that will make the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) more real than anything.

SCA is a radical regulatory shake-up of online payments that will make or break many internet businesses in the region. Tens of billions of euro are at stake as businesses that trade online face a race against the clock to have their systems in place by the 14 September enforcement date.

The objective of SCA is to reduce fraud and make online payments more secure. Come September, more than 300m European consumers will have to use two-factor authentication for the majority of online purchases, including their password, their device or biometrics, such as a fingerprint.

Stripe, a company founded by two brothers from Limerick, Patrick and John Collison, in San Francisco, is currently growing its existing engineering hub in Dublin tenfold after winning a vital e-banking licence from Ireland’s Central Bank that will enable it to process pan-European payments following a hard or soft Brexit. The company also recently acquired Touchtech Payments, a Dublin-based payments start-up, for an undisclosed sum as it prepares for the onset of SCA.

In recent weeks the company launched a new set of products to help with SCA compliance and launched its Billing product in Europe to help high-growth SaaS and subscription businesses get paid faster.

Writing about his decision to join Stripe, Henderson wrote in a Medium post: “I like the sense of adventure that comes from working towards a difficult future vision. It led me to join a relatively small company 15 years ago ( and then to found a start-up (Rangespan). In the five years since Google acquired Rangespan, I’ve had a fantastic experience working with great people, but the urge for the next adventure was growing.”

Depth and breadth

Stripe’s payment technology is currently powering some of the fastest-growing tech platforms in Europe, including, Deliveroo and Spotify.

The depth and breadth of the Dublin engineering hub is expanding rapidly and the hub now incorporates security engineering, merchant intelligence, developer tooling and an engineering team focused on building local payment products.

Henderson’s vision aligns with the Stripe founders’ original vision to simplify payments on the internet. “The internet has become a multitrillion-dollar platform for commerce, yet it still has big deficiencies. New payment methods are costly and time-consuming for businesses to implement. Complexities prevent many businesses from trading globally. Billions of people don’t have credit or debit cards. Transactions are deterred by a lack of trust between buyer and seller.”

Henderson also predicted that Stripe will not just be known as a payments platform but an actual ‘monetisation’ platform for businesses by helping them to sell more by improving transaction success rates.

“Something else that is motivating for me is Stripe’s globally distributed organisational model,” Henderson added.

“There’s a super-talented, growing team across EMEA, and Dublin is becoming a major software engineering hub. Locating the full breadth of functions in proximity to our users in EMEA will help us build even better products. It’s also fantastic for the wider tech community.”

Stripe was founded nine years ago when Patrick was 22 and John was 19. Earlier this year VMware co-founder and the former head of Google Cloud, Diane Greene, joined the board of Stripe.

The company raised $100m in a funding round earlier this year that values it at more than $22bn. The new investment came from Tiger Global, which previously led a $245m funding round that valued Stripe at $20bn in September 2018. As well as Tiger Global, investors in Stripe include big names such as Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.

The 45,000 sq ft The One Building, where Stripe’s Dublin offices are based, was designed by Irish architect Sam Stephenson.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years