Stripe becomes third-most valuable startup in the US

NEW YORK: Payments platform Stripe Inc became one of the most highly valued startups in the world on Thursday, after it announced a new funding round at a US$35 billion valuation.

In the US, only vaping giant Juul Labs Inc and the troubled We Co are more valuable.

Stripe raised US$250 million in funding in the new round, which the company said will be used to continue to expand around the world and launch new products.

In September alone, it launched a new lending product as well as a corporate credit card.

General Catalyst, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz are among the participating investors in the round. Stripe’s previous valuation was US$23 billion.

“Our investors sense that we are still in the early stages of our opportunity,” said John Collison, Stripe’s co-founder and president.

“We’re now processing hundreds of billions of dollars a year.”

The San Francisco-based company counts both startups and tech giants among the customers for its core payments processing services, with Uber Technologies Inc and Amazon.com Inc using it for some transactions.

Stripe has also continued to add more products, including fraud protection, billing and credit card services. It makes money by taking a portion of each transaction.

Stripe was founded in 2010 by John and Patrick Collison, 29 and 31, who immigrated to Silicon Valley to pursue careers in technology after growing up in Ireland.

The company’s latest round dramatically increased Stripe’s value to US$35 billion, not counting the more than US$1 billion investors have poured into the company.

Its valuation jump comes as some of the highest profile tech startups have struggled in the public markets.

Uber and Lyft Inc, which both listed shares publicly this year, are trading below their IPO price, and the We Co delayed its public offering.

Recently, WeWork’s market value has been called into question by investors.

John Collison said that the company was not planning an IPO in the near future.

“We’re very happy as an independent company,” he said.

“We’re very fortunate to have investors that bring a pretty long-term mindset to this.”

Stripe’s fundraising was earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal.