|Power Score: 80.37||Momentum Score: 88.24 (1)||HQ: San Francisco & Dublin||CEO: Patrick Collison|
Valuation: $95 billion (+164% vs. last round, 2020)
Amt. Raised: $2.23 billion
Lobbying Spend: $200,000
Industry Orgs: ETA
Headcount: 5,071 (+68% YoY)
Engineering Headcount: 1,737 (+59% YoY)
Big Tech Experience: 29.6%
Open Roles: 1,850
R&D Spending: n/a
Patents Applied For: 8
Patents Owned: 43
Acquisitions: Bouncer (May 2021); TaxJar (April 2021); Paystack (October 2020)
At $95 billion, Stripe is Silicon Valley's most valuable private company — for now, at least — and it's coming off a year where it saw its valuation triple and its headcount double. For Stripe, it's been a long time coming, following years of being referred to as undervalued or as a company you've never heard of. Whereas the other companies in this Power Index have at least some consumer focus, Stripe has put its resources into building out its B2B operations, starting first with payments infrastructure but, over time, moving to other SME-focused services, like its tax product or accounting platform, to build out an ecosystem.
While the company competes with Square in the B2B arena, Stripe has found more success bringing some of the biggest players defining the internet economy along for the ride: The company counts Amazon, Google and Shopify as customers. But from the beginning, Stripe has itself acted like a tech company in a way that some in the payments space haven't. It has, for instance, by far the largest share of employees with previous Big Tech experience on this list. And recent products — like Stripe Treasury, its banking-as-a-service API, and Stripe Capital, its lending foray — function like higher-tech versions of traditional financial services. As the embedded finance movement continues to grow, Stripe looks to be poised with its famed low-lift approach to facilitate companies offering their own versions of in-house fintech products.
The company hasn't been shy about its global ambitions, telegraphing some of its expansion strategy via the heavy dose of European backers in its most recent funding round. And the company's CEO, Patrick Collison, this year noted that his focus was on Europe's digital economy. While the company has been rolling its own offerings out further across Europe, it's also been cozying up to companies operating on the continent via its play in open banking. In September, Stripe invested in TrueLayer, a move that could foreshadow Stripe entering Plaid's territory and further meshing open banking and the payments industry.
All eyes are on the Stripe IPO, which is
rumored to be on the slate for 2022. In October 2020, the company poached CFO Dhivya Suryadevara from General Motors, where she held the same title, after a reported 18-month search for someone to fill the position. The anticipated S-1 should answer at least some questions about Stripe's profitability, though there have been plenty of educated guesses made already. Moreover, the company recently announced its intention to hire a team to build out crypto payments capabilities, a reversal from the position the company had taken in years past.
They Said It
"I remain a very big believer in infrastructure, and I think that Stripe is still early in its journey to unlock all sorts of entrepreneurship and economic activity that wouldn't otherwise have occurred. Almost every week we ship an improvement that makes hundreds of thousands or millions of businesses better off — and our ability to make such improvements is growing and not shrinking with time." —CEO Patrick Collison in a March 2021 interview
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