Brothers’ business is valued at €75m

Two Limerick brothers who became millionaires while still at school have seen their newest venture, Stripe, valued at €75 million.

Limerick-born entrepren- eurs Patrick and John Collison, 23 and 21 respectively, are the creators of Stripe, a simplified online payment system that allows retailers to accept payments without having to store customers’ credit card details or set up merchant bank facilities.

This allows retailers to avoid having to comply with anti-fraud and data protection requirements.

This is the second successful internet company that the Collisons have started. They sold their previous company, Auctomatic, before they had completed their Leaving Certificates, for more than €3m.

The latest funding round for Stripe raised $18m (€13.6m), according to sources who asked not to be named, as the deal has not been made public.

California-based Sequoia, which also invested in Stripe’s previous funding round, contributed $17m to this round.

Sequoia has previously invested in Google, EA and LinkedIn. Ebay founders Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, as well as Irish investor Liam Casey, CEO of PCH International, are reported to have invested in Stripe.

For such an early-stage company, Stripe’s $100m valuation is “off the charts, statistically”, said Michael J Patrick, a lawyer at Fenwick & West LLP who works with startups.

“There must be something red-hot here for Sequoia to invest at that valuation.

“This isn’t naive money.”

The new company will be in competition with the likes of Ebay’s PayPal and a host of other start-up companies who are trying to capture the online payments market.

Patrick Collison took to Twitter to thank the team of 18 developers who had helped make the project a success.

He wrote: “The real credit, as ever, goes to everyone else @stripe. (When we launched, I could fit the names in a tweet. Not any more, unfortunately).”

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Bright idea

* A cafe in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was the site where the Collison brothers struck upon a $100m (€75m) idea.

Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison are serial Irish entrepreneurs who had made their first million before they had even finished their Leaving Certificates.

Their latest company, Spike, has been valued at $100m after it attracted funding from Sequoia Capital and other Silicone Valley investors.

The Collisons sold their first company, Auctomatic, to Canadian firm Live Current Media in March 2008, which happened to be Good Friday. The two brothers netted about €3m out of the deal.

The brothers had been unable to secure funding from Enterprise Ireland for their first company so they relocated it to California in 2007. In California they got support from an investment company based in Silicon Valley, called Y Combinator.

After selling their company Patrick Collison, a previous winner of the BT young scientist award, took up a position as the director of engineering at Live Current Media.

He subsequently went on to study mathematics at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

John Collison chose Harvard, where he studied psychology. When John Collison is not setting up dotcom success stories, he is piloting planes.

The brothers were the two youngest mentors to take part in the Endeavour Programme.

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