Stripe, the payment firm co-founded by Limerick-born brothers Patrick and John Collison, has announced that its clients processed over $817bn (€747bn) in 2022. This represents a 26% increase from the previous year’s figure, but a notable deceleration from the “breakneck” 60% jump seen in 2021. Despite this deceleration, John Collison remains optimistic about the long-term prospects of the sector in which Stripe operates. The company’s latest annual letter reveals that over 100 companies now handle more than $1bn (€910m) in payments with Stripe each year, and over 1,000 new ventures launched using the company’s platforms every day in 2021.
The Collison brothers wrote in their annual letter that “we are as confident as ever in the internet economy’s long run prospects, and we’re heartened by the steady advancement of the millions of businesses we serve in the face of banking crises, war, pestilence, energy shocks, supply chain issues, inflation, and everything else unfolding around us.” The letter also revealed that 55% of the businesses that started using Stripe in 2021 were based outside of the US, which remains the company’s largest market. Stripe is now available in over 50 countries.
As a private company, Stripe does not disclose its own revenue or profitability. However, the company did announce a new funding round of more than $6.5bn (€6.15bn) at a $50bn (€47bn) valuation last month. The Series I round, which reduced the valuation of the company by almost half, was closed in part to “provide liquidity to current and former employees and address employee withholding tax obligations related to equity awards.”
Stripe’s annual letter also predicted that AI “large language models” (LLMs) such as ChatGPT will create more automation in labor-intensive tasks such as quality assurance and bookkeeping. The letter also revealed that San Francisco’s hold on emerging startups continues to wane. “In the three years before the pandemic, 63% of the new breakouts that we saw in the San Francisco Bay Area were based in San Francisco itself,” the letter states. “Since 2020, only 46% were. [Only] around 26% of the US-based breakout companies that we see are based in California. In 2018, 31% were headquartered in the state.”
According to Stripe’s data, Miami is the fastest-growing major startup hub city, with 89% more breakout companies last year compared to the previous year. “Outside the US, the top hubs in our data are, in order, London, Singapore, Paris, Tokyo, and Toronto,” said Stripe’s letter. “French entrepreneurial dynamism particularly stands out, as the top three countries are the US, the UK, and France.”
Last year, Stripe announced that it would lay off 14% of its workforce, which also impacted its Irish base. The company, founded in San Francisco in 2010, describes its Dublin office as its joint global headquarters. Both Collison brothers are regularly cited as among Ireland’s richest citizens, with multi-billion personal fortunes associated with their stakes in Stripe. Stripe is used by tens of thousands of companies to process payments online. Its business model is to take a small percentage of each payment and it also offers additional services, from invoicing and billing to fraud management.
In conclusion, Stripe has enjoyed another successful year, with its clients processing over $817bn in payments. While this represents a deceleration in growth from the previous year, the company remains optimistic about the long-term prospects of the sector. Stripe’s annual letter also highlights the growth of large language models and the waning influence of San Francisco as a startup hub, while Miami emerges as the fastest-growing city in this regard. The company’s Dublin office remains its joint global headquarters, and the Collison brothers continue to be among Ireland’s wealthiest citizens thanks to their stakes in Stripe.