Online payments company Stripe, founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison, has once again impressed industry figures and onlookers alike with a left-field move. This time it's the news that it has snared former Bank of England governor Mark Carney as a board member.
It’s a smart move by Stripe, which has been quietly amassing a heavyweight executive board in recent times.
Coming days after reports of the company now being valued at more than $100 billion, Carney’s appointment also marks Stripe’s continued progression away from plucky outsider to mainstream player.
They don't come more establishment than Carney, who also previously served as governor at Bank of Canada and was with Goldman Sachs for 13 years. Another big-name establishment figure to recently join the board is Christa Davies, chief financial officer of insurer Aon.
Stripe has moved from being a company whose solutions were mainly used by start-ups to being used by many of the world’s leading brands. Its board is also evolving.
Prior to the recent appointments, its directors were predominantly from the tech world. They include Diane Greene, who previously co-founded and ran VMware before becoming chief executive of Google Cloud; Michelle Wilson, a former senior Amazon executive, Jonathan Chadwick, former chief financial officer at Skype; and Michael Moritz, a partner at Sequoia Capital, a tech-focused VC. Founders Patrick and John Collison are also on the board.
But Stripe is not just appointing heavy hitters to its board. It also caused quite a stir last year when it was revealed it had lured Dhivya Suryadevara away from General Motors to become its new finance chief.
As Stripe enters its second decade of building infrastructure to power ecommerce, it is looking to gain from Carney’s experience of working at the highest levels in financial services and regulation.
It will need such guidance as it continues to expand at a phenomenal rate. For a company that was only founded in 2010, Stripe has become one of the most valuable private businesses in the world with its valuation rising threefold in less than a year.
As the Collisons have continually said they are only getting started, it seems there is plenty more growth in store. This is not least due to the Covid-19 crisis, which has led to countless new businesses flocking to get on Stripe’s payments platform.
Carney lends some establishment heft at a crucial juncture in its development.