Irish billionaire brothers: Stripe founder becomes world's youngest self-made billionaire video

Stripe co-founders John and Patrick Collison become billionaires after a funding round raises the valuation of the business to over US $9 billion.

Two brothers from Ireland who co-founded online payments service Stripe have been catapulted into the ranks of the world's youngest billionaires after a fresh funding round nearly doubled the company's valuation to $US9.2 billion ($12.3 billion).

Patrick and John Collison own about 29 per cent of the business, based on an analysis of filings by private stock market Equidate.

Stripe co-founders John and Patrick Collison have become Ireland's youngest billionaires after a funding round raises the valuation of the business to over $US9 billion.

Stripe is growing globally, now in 25 countries, and needs to hire workers and set up more offices as it competes with ...
ALBERT GEA

Stripe is growing globally, now in 25 countries, and needs to hire workers and set up more offices as it competes with PayPal.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index net worth calculation splits the founder ownership pool equally between the two, giving them each a $US1.1 billion stake in the start-up.

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This makes the brothers Ireland's youngest billionaires and, according to Forbes, makes 26-year-old John, Stripe's president, the world's youngest self-made billionaire.

John, left, and Patrick Collison join a very select group of 20-something billionaires.

John, left, and Patrick Collison join a very select group of 20-something billionaires.

His older brother Patrick, 28, is also part of a rarefied group — the Stripe CEO, and Snapchat co-founders Evan Spiegel, 26, and Bobby Murphy, 28, are the only other self-made billionaires in the world under age 30, Forbes says. The world's youngest billionaire is Norwegian Alexandra Andresen, 20, who inherited a fortune of $US1.2 billion.

Ireland's youngest billionaires are decades younger than established moguls such as telecoms tycoon Denis O'Brien, 58, or financier Dermot Desmond, 66.

Tim Drinan, a Stripe spokesman, declined to comment on the founders' ownership stakes.

Stripe's surging valuation is based on a $US150 million funding round disclosed on November 25, which brings its total fundraising to $US450 million. 

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After its previous funding round more than a year ago, Stripe was valued at $US5 billion. Its new valuation of $US9.2 billion makes Stripe among the world's highest-valued "fintech" start-ups backed by venture capitalists.

Stripe provides software that lets businesses accept payments online, from sources including credit cards and bitcoin as well as mobile services such as Android Pay and Apple Pay. It also provides tools to help with data security, fraud prevention, accounting and billing.

Founded in 2010 offering mobile payments tools for developers, Stripe's first clients were small US technology companies. It's since become a competitor to digital payments giant PayPal, with clients that include Facebook, Target and Macy's.

Stripe is growing globally, now in 25 countries, and needs to hire workers and set up more offices as it competes with PayPal, Square and other more established payments players.

Stripe is also expanding its reach with a program called Atlas, which allows young businesses in countries such as Cuba and Turkey to incorporate and open a bank account in the United States, and use Stripe to begin receiving payments over the internet.

The latest funding round represented the sale of about 1.6 per cent of the company and has made the business twice as valuable as Square, which went public a year ago and trades at almost three times revenue.

The value of the brothers' stakes is reduced by 15 per cent in the analysis to account for the small stake sold and typical discounts that shares in similar start-ups attract on the secondary market.

- Bloomberg, Reuters and SMH

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