Photograph by Fortune
Stripe, the startup whose seven lines of code enable online payments for millions of businesses, raised $245 million in an investment round led by Tiger Global Management, the company said Wednesday.
That brings Stripe’s valuation to $20 billion (pre-money), more than doubling its valuation of $9 billion at its last funding round nearly two years ago.
The new valuation also makes Stripe the sixth most valuable venture-backed startup in the U.S., as well as the top private fintech company in the world—worth the same as Palantir and WeWork and nearly as much as SpaceX.
Still, don’t expect a Stripe IPO anytime soon: The company has “no plans” to go public on the stock market, Stripe COO Claire Hughes Johnson told Fortune in an interview.
“We really don’t have any plans on that,” she says. “I think we think of ourselves as building infrastructure very long-term, and sticking and executing on that.”
While in its early days Stripe was primarily popular among small businesses who used its software to accept e-commerce sales, the company has recently gained a number of large enterprise customers, such as Google and Microsoft (for Google Pay and Microsoft Pay digital wallet services), Uber, Spotify and Salesforce. Big foreign players have also recently begun using Stripe for their electronic payments, including Asia-based ride-sharing services, Didi Chuxing and Grab.
“There’s millions of companies on Stripe and there really could be millions more,” says Hughes Johnson, adding that their priorities are “accelerating this global expansion and being there for these large customers who are pulling us up market.”
Stripe plans to use its new capital—which also came from investors Sequoia and DST Global, in addition to Tiger—to expand internationally. With its software currently used to facilitate electronic payments in some 130 countries, it is particularly looking to enter more countries in Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia. To do so, it will need to hire legions of engineers (it has already been staffing up a new office in Singapore), as well as invest in regulatory efforts to meet local requirements, and in building the technical networks needed for its operations.
More than 80% of U.S. consumers have made purchases using Stripe, according to the company.
Although Stripe’s technology can now accept payments in many different currencies, it stopped allowing Bitcoin payments earlier this year as the cryptocurrency’s volatility caused headaches for merchants. Hughes Johnson says the company is still watching the cryptocurrency market closely, but so far has seen no need to begin accepting Bitcoin again. “We just haven’t seen the use cases, and frankly the customers haven’t been there,” she says. “But some day it will be, and we will certainly be there, when we see it working more as a currency. If it starts to take off, we’ll definitely be there—we wouldn’t be achieving our mission if we weren’t.”
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