Collison brothers’ Stripe pushes into new global markets

7 Feb 2019

Inside the Stripe Dublin offices. Image: Stripe

Stripe’s Dublin engineering team is a core part of the payment platform’s global spearhead.

Payments platform Stripe, founded by Patrick and John Collison, has revealed plans to enter new markets and ease the path to globalisation for businesses.

These efforts are being enabled by the company’s engineering teams spread across hubs in Dublin, Singapore and Seattle.

Last night (6 February) CEO Patrick Collison tweeted that the company is expanding into six new countries: Estonia, Poland, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia and Malaysia.

It is doing so through betas that are already seeing customers go live in these respective markets as well as in Mexico and Brazil.

The move follows the company raising $100m in a new funding round 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.

The payment company’s head of engineering, David Singleton, also tweeted last night about how the company’s global engineering team is at the spearhead of Stripe’s advancement into these new markets.

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From left: John and Patrick Collison. Image: Stripe

Globalisation appears to be a big theme for Stripe, with Patrick Collison quoted telling Bloomberg that the technology developed by the company is very much of its time. He said: “There are more headwinds to global economic integration than there were any time in the past 20 years. That’s going to make global expansion more difficult for businesses in general.”

Last year we reported how the company located its first engineering office outside of San Francisco in the Silicon Docks area of Dublin with more than 100 engineers and growing.

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

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

Stripe’s technology allows websites and apps to quickly and smartly deploy payment options, negating the need for the sea of gateway providers, credit card processors, merchant acquirers, and specialised payments methods and wallets that vary in different markets around the world. The toolkits devised by Stripe tackle everything from languages to regulations, foreign exchange, virtual cards, subscription-based billing and more.

At the time of writing it is understood that more than 3,200 versions of its core API have been rolled out over the last year and its technology is used by everyone from start-ups to giants such as Facebook, Amazon, SAP and Spotify.

In October last year Stripe joined forces with Twilio to digitally enable over-the-phone payments, and Patrick Collison added his signature to a petition by the CEOs of 30 European tech firms clamouring for stronger share options policymaking in Europe.

The recent fundraise that values Stripe at more than $22bn only adds to mounting speculation that it is likely to go public via an IPO at some point in 2019 or 2020. While the company has downplayed such speculation, it is nevertheless a nine-year-old company and has reached the average exit time for venture capital investments. As well as Tiger Global, investors in Stripe include big names such as Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.

Either way, 2019 stands to be an interesting year for tech IPOs, with San Francisco-based Slack also tipped to IPO in the months ahead.

Whether Stripe goes for an IPO or not any time soon, it is well on its way to becoming a globally recognisable household name.

Not bad for two enterprising young brothers from Limerick.

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