Stripe’s Limerick-born founders have hired banks to advise on a possible IPO for the online payments giant within the next year.
atrick and John Collison have also told staff that they want to take the firm public or allow employees to otherwise benefit from selling shares privately.
The move, first reported in The Wall Street Journal, has seen the company hire Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan to advise on the next course of action.
If it files for an IPO, Stripe could be one of the biggest ever flotations of a tech company with hundreds of staff potentially in line for a windfall.
At its last fundraising round in 2021, it was valued at $95bn, making it Silicon Valley’s most valuable private firm. An internal repricing of shares offered to employees last year may have cut that valuation to around $70bn, as tech companies across the board saw share values decline.
Although Stripe’s largest investors are institutional bodies such as US venture capital firms and state funds (including Ireland’s Strategic Investment Fund, which invested €42m last year), a number of early shareholders, such as Cork hardware entrepreneur Liam Casey, may also realise big gains.
Stripe employs around 500 people at its Irish office, which is its joint global headquarters.
The news comes just days after Stripe announced an expansion in its dealings with Amazon, becoming a strategic payments partner for the retail giant in the US, Europe, and Canada. That deal will see Stripe processing what it describes as a “significant” portion of Amazon’s total payments volume across its businesses, including Prime, Audible, Kindle, Amazon Pay and Buy With Prime.
Last November, Stripe announced that it was shedding 14pc of its workforce because it miscalculated the size of the post-pandemic economy. The move affected around 70 people in the Irish office, who have left the company.
Other big tech firms with bases in Ireland to shed jobs include Meta, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Salesforce.
Stripe has been one of the most-tipped tech IPOs for the last five years.
In that time, Patrick and John Collison have repeatedly said that they had no plans to take the company public. This position was supported by robust revenue growth that has left the company without a need for significant new funding requirements.
However, companies in Stripe’s position often find themselves under pressure to allow employees and investors realise the value of their stake in the company they work for or fund.
Stripe, which was started by the Collisons over 10 years ago, has gone an unusually long time as a privately-funded firm at such a scale.
The Collisons’ personal stakes in the company are estimated to be worth at least €5bn each.
Both Patrick (34) and John (32) claim that Stripe’s mission is “to increase the GDP of the internet”.
Stripe is used by tens of thousands of companies to process payments online. Stripe’s business model is to take a small percentage of each payment. It also has an increasing range of additional services, from invoicing and billing to fraud management.
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