Stripe becomes the largest unicorn in the US and puts the spotlight on Europe
The payment platform Stripe has become the largest unicorn founded in the US on Monday after closing a financing round for 600 million dollars (500 million euros) and raising its valuation to 95,000 million dollars (80,000 million euros ). The fintech (a technology and financial company) maintains that this new injection will aim to intensify its operations in Europe – “and in its Dublin headquarters in particular” -, a continent where it detects “a growing demand” for its payment services. After the new valuation, Stripe unseats the American SpaceX, the space giant of Elon Musk, as the largest unicorn in North America and is only surpassed globally by Bytedance, the Chinese unicorn that owns TikTok, and the fintech china Ant Group.
Stripe was founded in 2010 by the Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison – aged 32 and 30 – and is dedicated to managing payments for retail purchases, both in physical establishments and on web pages, although its strength is in the internet, where it operates with multinationals such as Amazon, Booking or Lyft.
The technology company assures that after the new round of financing it will focus on the Old Continent, where it already has clients in 31 countries (worldwide it is in 42) and 200,000 companies hired its services in 2020. “The company will use the capital to invest in your European operations. (…) Many of the largest and fastest growing companies on the continent are using the platform, ”reads the statement on Monday. According to Stripe, European giants such as Axel Springer, Jaguar Land Rover and Maersk have recently contracted their product, and they have already been operating for some time with Deliveroo, N26 and Vinted.
In statements collected by BloombergMike Moritz, a partner at Sequoia Capital and a member of Stripe’s board of directors, has taken the weight off the massive injection of capital announced Monday: “We’ll just add it to the balance sheet.” He added that the money will only be “an emergency fund.” “It is better to be insured,” he added.
According to data from Financial Times, Stripe’s valuation surpasses that of the big tech companies of the past two decades, starting with Facebook, whose brand was worth about $ 80 billion before it went public in 2012. The same as Uber, valued at $ 72 billion before go to market.
Similarly, the classification of unicorns from CBInsights ranks Stripe as the jewel in the crown of US unlisted companies, after snatching the podium from SpaceX, valued at $ 74 billion. However, it remains far from the Chinese unicorns Bytedance ($ 140 billion) and Ant Group, whose value would have plummeted to close to $ 108 billion after the Chinese government halted its takeover bid at the end of 2020.