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Stripe and their role in the digital economy

04 Oct 2016

The world wide web has significantly evolved since its inception in 1990.

These days almost all new business ventures are online start-ups and a lot of media attention has been given to software and robots taking over society.

As venture capital investor Marc Andreessen said: “Software is eating the world.”

Stripe considers itself a key driver of this new wave of commerce. It provides online tools for websites and software applications to process customer payments.

Stripe’s journey

The company started as /dev/payments in 2010. With so much confusion about the name they quickly renamed themselves, Stripe.

The same year famous start-up accelerator Y Combinator invested in the company. Since then it has received around $300 million in funding. These funding rounds have included big names like PayPal founder & Facebook investor Peter Thiel.

They launched their first commercial product in early 2011.

In March 2013, Stripe acquired chat and task-management application Kickoff.

The company added Bitcoin support to its platforms in March 2014. This enabled its e-commerce clients to accept the alternative payment method easily.

2015 was the year that the company started its focus on machine learning. It put this new artificial intelligence to detecting and protecting its clients from fraudulent payments.

Today the company processes billions of dollars of payments for hundreds of thousands of merchants and employs over 550 team members throughout the world.

What does Stripe offer?

Stripe has a number of different products that web developers can integrate with to accept payments on their websites.

It also has a simple setup process for new merchants. With just a seven-day waiting period for initial transactions, during which time it profiles the businesses involved to protect against potential fraud. Stripe then transfers the funds directly into the bank account linked to the payee.

It’s original payments processing engine has massively evolved over the years. Now offering very clever cross-border multicurrency payment options to clients. In addition, it now accepts a number of non-credit card payment methods like Bitcoin, Apple Pay, Google Pay and AliPay.

In recent years it’s also developed new solutions for its merchants to operate new subscription-based billing models.

Summary

Stripe cleverly straddles the old and the new world. For established companies like Walmart, it helps them with digital reinvention, while for start-ups it sees itself as the fastest way to cash.

For either of the groups, it offers a clever solution, which is quick to establish and allows them to keep focused on their core business. Their systems also allow its clients to keep up-to-date with new payment methods as they pop up without any development.

Over one-third of American’s interact with their technology and they have established their important role online.

“Our aim is to grow the GDP of the internet.” John Collison, Co-Founder & President

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