Stripe on cusp of breakthrough deal to bring e-commerce to Twitter

17 Jan 2014

Patrick Collison, co-founder of Stripe

Stripe, the e-payments technology company started in Silicon Valley by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison, is close to signing a deal with Twitter that will make it easier to sell products and services directly on the social network.

Twitter is understood to be planning an e-commerce platform that will enable it to partner with major retailers, manufacturers and media companies and allow users to dynamically buy goods on the fly.

According to re/code, the partnership with Stripe will allow Twitter to accept credit-card payments from its users. Twitter has already dabbled in tweet-commerce through alliances with Starbucks and American Express, but has never fully embraced a single system that could be used to enable fluid on-the-fly commerce.

By enabling a simple, secure platform, Twitter would be able to partner with major retailers and organise live tie-ins with TV shows, as well as enable media organisations, like newspapers, to sell articles and editions in the same way users simply download apps from Apple’s App Store or Google’s Google Play.

The move could also open a whole new market for m-commerce, where smartphone-toting shoppers could buy products they spot on the high street.

The news comes months after the Stripe founders spurned an offer by PayPal to buy their company. After failing to acquire Stripe, PayPal acquired Braintree for US$800m.

Patrick (25) and John Collison (23) sold their first company Auctomatic to Canadian firm Live Current Media for US$5m (€3.2m) when they were 17 and 19, respectively. Now residents in Silicon Valley, their two-year-old start-up Stripe is beginning to make headway in the e-commerce space, and is now live in the US, UK and Ireland.

The company, which employs 62 people, raised its first round of funding of US$2m in 2011 from investment veterans Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. Further funding of US$18m followed in 2012 by Sequoia Capital, valuing Stripe at US$100m at the time.

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