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Stripe “very happy” to remain private, says co-founder John Collison


The Stripe logo on a smartphone with US dollar banknotes in the background.

Budrul Chukrut | SOPA Pictures | LightRocket via Getty Images

Online payments giant Stripe is still in no rush to go public, co-founder John Collison told CNBC the company is happy to stay private for now.

“We are very happy as a private company,” said Collison, speaking in an interview with CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the Abu Dhabi Fintech Festival.

“Part of the origin of our patience is the fact that we feel like we are very early in the Stripe journey.”

Collison’s comments come after a Bloomberg report said Stripe was in talks with investment banks to go public as early as next year.

Collison said the company plans to expand into the Persian Gulf, which includes countries like the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Stripe already has customers from Deliveroo, a $ 7.5 billion food delivery company, to a small sportswear brand called Squatwolf, which uses it to process payments in the region, he said. added.

“We launched here in the United Arab Emirates only in June and we’ve seen this massive surge,” said Collison, who is currently the chairman of Stripe.

“It’s a massive region that is just starting to shift in terms of its own growth,” he added. “We have the impression that we are very early in this trip, we are still investing heavily.”

Stripe likely won’t be looking for an IPO in the immediate future, Collison said.

This isn’t the first time Stripe has poured cold water when talking about a stock market debut. The fintech company was last valued at $ 95 billion, making it worth more than Uber before the rideshare company’s initial public offering.

Founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison in 2009, Stripe has grown from an advanced technology to a payment central processing billions of dollars in transactions each year for Amazon, Google and Deliveroo.

The company’s main competitors are PayPal, Square, Adyen, and Checkout.com.

Stripe has also increasingly spread to other areas of finance, including lending and tax management. However, the company firmly ruled out becoming a full-fledged bank, a move that would ultimately lead to regulatory oversight and increased costs.

Another space that Stripe has started to settle in more recently is cryptocurrency. The company recently announced the creation of a team dedicated to crypto and “Web3,” a tech buzzword that refers to a new decentralized version of the Internet.

Collison said a number of emerging innovations in the crypto market have caught his attention, from Solana – a competitor of Ethereum, the world’s second largest digital currency – to “Layer 2” blockchain systems like Bitcoin’s Lightning Network which are designed to speed up transactions and process them at lower cost.

Stripe previously accepted bitcoin payments, but stopped supporting cryptocurrency in 2018, citing price volatility and a lack of efficiency when it comes to large-scale transactions.

“There have been a lot of developments lately with the aim of improving cryptocurrencies and, in particular, a scalable and acceptable cost as a method of payment,” said Collison.

When asked if Stripe could resume accepting crypto payments in the future, the company co-founder said it was “not unlikely” that he would.


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