Payments company Stripe, founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison, has raised a further $600m to drive its expansion as more businesses move online due to Covid-19.

The fundraising is being carried out on the same terms as the last time it raised cash last autumn and at a slighlty higher valuation of nearly $36bn.

In September it raised a further $250 million in new funding at a valuation of $35bn, which at the time represented a 55% increase following a smaller fundraising round in January of last year.

The extra funding is coming as an extension to its Series G round, and is supported by investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, GV and Sequoia.

The company said the rate of new businesses going live on Stripe had accelerated since the start of the year. 

It plans to use the funding to invest further in growing its platform, hire more staff, expand its geographic presence, pursue acquisitions and strategic initiatives and add to its suite of services.

"While the full economic impact of COVID-19 remains uncertain, several years of offline-to-online migration are being compressed into several weeks," the company said in a statement.

"The current disruption underscores the need for reliable, easy-to-use infrastructure for internet businesses."

The firm said that with over $2 billion on its balance sheet, a capital-efficient business model, and a highly-diversified, growing, global user base, it is in a position to provide uninterrupted service to its users and invest in long-term improvements.

So far this year the business has added Just Eat, Lightspeed, Mattel, NBC and Zoom as customers.

"People who never dreamt of using the internet to see the doctor or buy groceries are now doing so out of necessity," said John Collison, President and Co-founder of Stripe.

"And businesses that deferred moving online or had no reason to operate online have made the leap practically overnight. We believe now is not the time to pull back, but to invest even more heavily in Stripe's platform."

Launched in 2011 Stripe has over 2,500 employees across 14 offices, with operations in 34 countries.

This will soon grow to 40 as the firm plans to launch its services in Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, and Romania soon.

The company employs 300 people in its Dublin office.