How do you know Stripe is cool? Because every new payments company compares itself to Stripe. “We’re like the Stripe of X” or “we are the Stripe of Y,” they say. Yeah, sure. The company, founded by brothers Patrick and John Collison, received seed funding from Y Combinator in January 2010. Its strategy was to be the mechanism for developers to get paid — and this is a pretty sure way to make an online system popular. Stripe was quickly implemented across the web by developers that naturally had a warm fuzzy feeling for it.
The company has since pulled in $120 million from investors and was valued at $1.75 billion late last month. The reason? Stripe is attacking mobile payments, and mainstays such as PayPal are worried. Stripe is also going global in 2014. With some initial hiccups in accepting non-dollar payments, Stripe’s API now accepts payments in some 130 currencies.
With implementation as simple as just a adding a few lines of code, Stripe is bringing payments to small merchants at a lower cost than PayPal and the like. It powers payments for the UK-based Guardian Media Group and the French video streaming site Dailymotion, to name just a few of its larger clients. It is even rumored to soon begin providing the payments backend for Twitter. Cool. And very smart.
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