Stripe is an American payment gateway that allows e-commerce sites to receive payments on their sales websites. It is the best software platform for doing business on the Internet. This software has processed $ 640 billion for businesses in 2021 in 50 countries around the world. Startup Stripe of John and his brother Patrick Collison has been established since 2010 and currently has a total revenue (Gross) of nearly 12 billion USD in 2021.
Every Friday afternoon, founder John Collison and about 7,000 of his employees in many parts of the world meet online via Zoom. However, along with its momentum, this 12-year-old startup is increasingly becoming a target for the media and social networks.
Recently, Stripe’s name resurfaced once again when billionaire Zachary Perret, the founder of rival company Plaid, published articles accusing Stripe of pretending to work with him to build similar applications to compete. painting. These posts were later removed.
This incident forced Patrick Collison to cancel his honeymoon to inform the entire company that they were growing and would become a target for many people. Even President John Collison has planned to prepare for the worst case scenario.
“We’re going to compete with a lot of startups and also work with a lot of people. Everyone needs to act like an adult,” said Mr. John, shrugging.
Big man next to Tiktok, SpaceX
Startup Stripe, a business with two headquarters in San Francisco-USA and Dublin-Ireland, had net sales of up to $2.5 billion last year and, according to Forbes, its Ebitda profit. can reach hundreds of millions of dollars.
It is such potentials that in the March 2021 funding round, Stripe has attracted $ 600 million, bringing the total raised capital to $ 2.4 billion and is valued at $ 95 billion in total value. This number has made Stripe surpass Elon Musk’s SpaceX in 2021 to become the world’s 3rd largest technology unicorn (Unicorn).
Forbes magazine estimates that the Collison brothers each hold about 10% of Stripe shares, making the total fortune of each person will be about $ 9.5 billion.
However, in contrast to the billion-dollar giants above, the Collison brothers are quite friendly and close to their work. Even Patrick himself sometimes jumps into coding for product development. Since the journey up from a few lines of code to becoming the most convenient payment gateway in the world is not easy, the Collison brothers understand what they should do to stay successful.
“We’re not a flashy company, we’re just an application infrastructure provider that we hope will last for a long time,” said founder Patrick, laughing.
Today, the job of maintaining Stripe is not as easy as it used to be when this payment gateway crept into every application, from ordering a car to order or to paying for online newspapers can also involve the participation of customers. surname.
Besides, the question of whether Stripe is about to go public with an initial public offering (IPO) is also keeping everyone under pressure. The current world situation has too many fluctuations, from inflation to geopolitical conflicts. The S&P 500 has lost nearly 20% year-to-date and tech stocks have lost ground, and even Elon Musk’s Tesla is no exception.
As a result, a startup that is at the forefront of payments like Stripe also becomes the head of the storm for everyone to look at.
These factors have forced the Collison brothers to find ways to adapt to the new situation while maintaining growth. Stripe has focused on new market areas of Southeast Asia and the Middle East, and launched new services such as app marketplaces or even cryptocurrencies. Currently, Stripe is encroaching on the credit segment for small businesses.
“As an entrepreneur, you don’t have to brag about your achievements every day. Our to-do list is still very long,” emphasized founder John Collison.
Data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows that only 12% of global payment activities are online, thereby proving that this market has huge potential.
So while Stripe employees are still preparing for an IPO, according to many experts, keeping businesses private at this time may be a good thing. Founder Patrick himself also thinks that things like “stock price” or “estimated total value” seem too far from what they intend to do and want to do.
“I’m not comfortable when outsiders are so excited about Stripe. There’s still a lot of work we haven’t done,” complained founder Patrick.
Dropping out of school to start a business
The Collison brothers were born in Limerick and moved around as children before settling in Dromineer, an idyllic village in central Ireland. Their parents were both from scientific backgrounds – Denis worked in electrical engineering, and Lily worked in microbiology – then both became entrepreneurs. Denis runs a 24-bedroom hotel on the shores of Lough Derg, while Lily runs a corporate training company in the family home.
Due to busy parents, the two brothers had to self-study and had to rent books to learn about coding from a young age.
When they reached school age, the Patrick brothers were sent to a high-quality school with class sizes of approximately 20 children. A student who consistently completes programs with excellence, Patrick passed special exams to complete high school at the age of 16, earlier than his peers.
In 2006, Patrick entered MIT based on excellent scores on the SAT at the age of 13. Following in his footsteps, John came to the US two years later, becoming a student at one of the world’s top universities, Harvard University.
In their spare time, the Collison brothers developed iPhone apps. One of those apps is the $8 version of Wikipedia, which makes it possible for people to search offline.
In this application, the Collisons have removed unnecessary encryption so that all information can be wrapped up in one download. They also wrote an app to help manage eBay’s auctions and then sold it to Auctomatic Inc. for $5 million in 2008. At that time, John was still in high school.
However, the learning path does not seem to be enough for the outstanding heads. Both Patrick and John dropped out of MIT and Harvard to start Stripe. In fact, this startup has been implemented by the two Collison brothers since before leaving school, but only officially made it public after dropping out. Even the name Stripe was taken from a time when two people sat down to drink coffee.
In 2010, Stripe’s Serie A funding round was invested by Michael Moritz of Sequoia with Max Levchin, Peter Thief and Elon Musk of Paypal at the time, thereby raising $ 18 million in 2012.
At that time, the average American spent $1.2 million per day on online shopping. In fact, the basic technology platform can no longer meet the rapid growth of e-commerce.
The startup Stripe Inck was born in that situation, to bring solutions to support businesses in the process of approaching e-commerce. This startup builds and provides software that helps businesses quickly link to websites and applications that connect directly to credit cards and the banking system, and receive payment orders from customers. client side.
This product of Stripe Inc has created a big buzz in Silicon Valley. Stripe’s customers are quite diverse, from large corporations such as Lyft, Facebook, DoorDash, and thousands of others.
Talk less do More
At Stripe, the work culture of employees is greatly influenced by the two founders when doing more than talking. Meetings usually start quite quietly as everyone reads the minutes and writes notes and questions for the discussion that follows.
Stripe’s initial team was mostly young, dynamic people, so even with a small number of employees, they quickly grew to reach the second round of funding in 2012. However, up to now, about 40% of Stripe’s employees are also engineers, a rather unusual proportion when it comes to global expansion. This comes from the fact that the Stripe brothers prefer to work with technical managers rather than outsiders.
However, the view that management must be technically good has made it difficult for Stripe and currently a number of director positions are still vacant. Even the previous CEO at this startup only lasted less than 2 years and then left.
“If you’re the CEO, there’s a 50% chance you’ll get fired,” joked one Stripe employee.
Currently, the online payment segment is still the main source of revenue for Stripe, but the Collison brothers are trying to promote their employees even more. They require people to understand the financial situation of the customer when providing the service, whether it is a scam, withdrawal or wealth management, thereby offering more useful products to the customer. row.
One of the reasons why Stripe is having to change so drastically comes from the fact that they are starting to face increasingly fierce competition.
After the resounding success of Stripe, countless startup projects, even big banks or even “big guys” in the technology industry like Google Inc, Apple Inc also joined in trying to establish similar software. Self Stripe.
Even so, the Collison brothers are still quite confident with their company as they have spent years building customer relationships and files, and pioneering in their field.
“The most important thing is still when customers feel we are useful,” founder Patrick confidently asserts.
*Source: Forbes, Bloomberg, CNN
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