Online payment platform Stripe announced this month that it has entered into two new partnerships. Small business loans platform Funding Circle is the newest member of the Stripe Partner Program, giving those businesses that use Stripe access to quick and affordable business financing, while Stripe’s collaboration with Cross River Bank is aimed at providing easier access to earnings for those in the marketplace economy. Together, these new partnerships are aimed at increasing Stripe’s suite of product offerings.
Funding Circle and Cross River Bank’s announcements come less than four months after Stripe completed its Series E round of funding, raising $245 million at a valuation of $20 billion. The success of this recent funding round is excellent news for Stripe’s co-founders, brothers Patrick and John Collison. The Collison brothers had already become the world’s youngest self-made billionaires—each with a net worth of over $1.1 billion—following Stripe’s previous funding round. As Stripe continues to add features and services to make its online payment systems infrastructure even more robust, the Collison brothers success appears to be set to grow even further.
The Collison brothers founded Stripe in 2010, receiving seed money from start-up accelerator Y Combinator in June 2010. Venture capitalists Sequoia Capital, Peter Thiel and Andreessen Horowitz contributed $2 million in seed capital the next year. Square launched to the public in September 2011, and the company was valued at $100 million by the following February.
Incredibly, Stripe is not the Collison brothers’ first successful business venture. While teenagers in Limerick, Ireland, Patrick and John founded Shuppa in 2007. The brothers moved to Silicon Valley, and Shuppa merged with Auctomatic to form a software company that created auction tools for eBay’s platform. Auctomatic sold for $5 million in March 2008, making 17-year-old John and 19-year-old Patrick millionaires overnight.
Like so many other Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, the Collison brothers have both dropped out of elite colleges: John from Harvard and Patrick from MIT. Both can boast early educational success, however. Patrick was runner-up in 2004’s Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition with a project on artificial intelligence, while John received eight A1 and two A2 grades after returning to secondary school following the sale of Auctomatic.