Collison brothers' Stripe launches in Ireland

Tuesday 03 September 2013 19.39
Stripe has been valued at €0.5 billion by technology analysts in the US.
Stripe has been valued at €0.5 billion by technology analysts in the US.

Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison have launched their online payment services business, Stripe, in Ireland.

Stripe has been valued at €0.5 billion by technology analysts in the US.

The company is based in San Francisco but Ireland is the first euro zone country in which it has officially launched the service.

Stripe is backed by Peter Thiel, the first investor in Facebook and a founder of Paypal. It aims to allow businesses to easily accept cash online.

For many companies getting a merchant account with a bank, in order to sell goods and services online, is a difficult process that can last several months. Stripe claims that it can solve that problem in ''just a few clicks''.

Speaking to RTÉ News in Dublin, Stripe chief executive Patrick Collison said he and brother John have no plans to sell the company. He said they already have experience of selling a company early in their careers and saw what that involves.

But straight after selling, you want to get back to solving problems with great people who you want to work with, the 24 year old added. And Stripe, he said, is not going to run out of problems any time soon.

On the company's valuation, Mr Collison said it is impossible to say anything meaningful about it because Stripe is so young. He said although it sounds like a cliche, they are not motivated by money. He said while it is nice to build a profitable business as a side effect, it is not their main focus. Having already sold a business, he added, the only thing he owns of value is a bicycle.

Stripe now employs 62 people and processes millions of dollars of transactions a day. It is already available to businesses in US, Canada, UK and Ireland, while it is in beta testing in a number of other countries.

Patrick Collison said the long term goal is to make Stripe available in every country in the world, many of which have no good options for merchant online transactions, other than banks. He said the opportunity is there to give people the chance to partake in the internet economy.

Asked for his advice to entrepreneurs, Patrick Collison said they should go and do it as there is so little to lose. The internet creates incredible opportunities, he said, and people can iterate through failure and advance quickly.

In relation to the view of Ireland from Silicon Valley, he said it is still seen as a little tarnished. But he added that people are also pragmatic about it. While they recognise that Ireland erred, they do not hold it against us in terms of it being a place to do business.

Mr Collison also said it is not just the Government's job to help advance entrepreneurship. Ultimately, he claimed, it is up to the technology and entrepreneur community to go and do it.