Payment firm Stripe valued at $1.75bn

Company is emphatic that it is not for sale despite interest from eBay-owned PayPal

As Stripe readies for further European expansion, the company has announced a round of investment that values the company at $1.75 billion only three years after the service launched.

Set up by Limerick brothers Patrick and John Collison in 2010, Stripe had one mission in mind when the pair wrote the initial code: to make it easier for developers to accept payments online. "It's a nice validation of what everyone has gotten done over the last year," Patrick Collison said of the investment.

But the cofounders of Stripe, which this week announced that it was opening up its beta programmes in Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Spain to users without invitations, look unlikely to cash in on the company’s billion-dollar status.

Patrick Collison has been emphatic in the past that the company isn't for sale, with Stripe reportedly turning down a multi-million dollar advance from PayPal last year. The eBay-owned company later went on to buy Braintree for $800 million.

Stripe has been compared to the established payments processing company, with many viewing it as a direct competitor to PayPal.

However, Patrick views things differently, believing that Stripe can help grow the ecommerce market as a whole and bring companies that are currently not taking payments online into web commerce.

“There should be more transactions happening on the internet on a macro basis, whether you believe that should be 20 per cent or 40 per cent,” he said.

“Well, what is holding it back? Our goal is to expand internet commerce. We approach that problem rather than the competitive angle.”

Stripe, which is headquartered in San Francisco, now processes millions of dollars a day in transactions and is growing all the time. Customers from Walmart and Virgin to Foursquare, Lyft and Irish tech firm Intercom are using the service. There are even rumours that a deal with Twitter to facilitate buying goods through the social platform is in the works, although neither party has confirmed it.

Among Stripe's first backers were PayPal founder Peter Thiel and Sequoia Capital.
- (Additional reporting: Reuters)

The timeline: From young scientist to Stripe
2005: Patrick Collison wins the BT Young Scientist of the Year competition with a project on a new programming language.

2009: The first lines of code for what will become Stripe are written.

2010: Patrick and John Collison sell Auctomatic for a rumoured $5 million to Canadian firm Live Current Media. "As tech acquisitions go it was very small," Patrick later said.

2010: Stripe gets its first funding and its first user, and sets up its first office in the US.

2011: Stripe gets $20 million in Series A funding, and launches publicly in the US.

2012: Stripe opens for business in Canada, its first location outside the US.

2013: Stripe opens an office in the UK. It later opens the service to Irish users. Patrick and John are included on the Forbes '30 under 30 to watch' list.

2014: Stripe raises $80 million in Series C funding and pledges to expand further in Europe.