Collison brothers’ start-up Stripe valued at US$100m

10 Feb 2012

Patrick and John Collison pictured three years ago after selling Auctomatic for US$5m. They were just 19 and 17 years old at the time

Limerick brothers John and Patrick Collison’s Stripe venture has raised US$18m in venture capital from Sequoia Capital and other investors on top of a previous investment that included Peter Thiel and Elon Musk. This latest investment values their rival to PayPal at US$100m.

Their venture aims to make online payments seamless and uncomplicated by enabling web developers to take payments via the internet without having to set up merchant bank accounts or store credit cards.

According to Bloomberg, the amount of funding raised trumps the typical US$7m for a Silicon Valley start-up and has been described by experts as “off the chart statistically.”

John (20) and Patrick (22) formed a start-up called Shuppa in 2007 and it later became known as Auctomatic and attracted funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Y Combinator and was acquired just a year later by Canadian firm Live Current Media for $5m (€3.2m) when they were just 17 and 19 years of age, respectively.

The US$18m in financing comes on top of US$1.8m the brothers raised in seed funding after starting the company more than a year ago. The round involved Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Ron Conway and Andreessen Horowitz.

Speaking with last year, John Collison explained the thinking behind Stripe: “Stripe was founded to make it easier for people to charge money online. A product we’re creating for developers is to make it easy for developers who build a site to incorporate payments into that. That’s what we’re building.

“When you look at the iPad and how well it’s doing, it has solved the payment aspect. In-app payments – you just go to buy some app, hit download and put in your password and that’s it. But on the web this hasn’t been solved.

“You go to a Wall Street Journal article and then you are redirected to forms and you could get rejected because your zip is incorrect and you don’t have a zip. It’s completely broken, when you think about it,” he said.

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