The payments startup said it raised $70 million in a new
funding round valuing it at $3.57 billion, doubling its valuation in less than
a year. Stripe is adding to its balance sheet as it fends off threats from more
rivals in digital payments, a market Forrester Research estimates
will top $90 billion in total U.S. spending in 2017. This year, Apple Inc.
unveiled a new foray into mobile payments and eBay announced plans to spin
off its PayPal division, the leader in online payments for more than a decade.
Stripe helps thousands of businesses process payments by
giving them an easy-to-use computer code they can plug into their website or
mobile application to begin accepting credit-card transactions. The company
takes 2.9% of most transactions in addition to a flat commission of 30 cents
per charge—the exact same rate set by PayPal. The rapid rise of Stripe’s
valuation reflects the progress the company has made this year, including deals
to power the “buy” buttons on social networks Facebook and Twitter.
The company, with about 170 employees, will use the capital
to fuel its expansion overseas, where it hopes to enable consumers in any
country to shop from merchants around the world using their local currencies.
Stripe is currently in 18 countries.
Since its founding in 2009, the startup has raised a total
of about $200 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Allen
& Company as well as PayPal founders Peter Thiel, Elon Musk and
Max Levchin. In January, the company raised $80 million at a $1.75 billion
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