Stripe becomes America's most valuable startup thanks to its high "stoxygen" factor

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks |
_When Stripe takes off the invisibility cloak_

When Stripe takes off the invisibility cloak

Move over, Technoking... Stripe has officially surpassed Elon's SpaceX to become the most valuable private startup (ironically, Elon is a Stripe investor... so he wins anyway). The digital payments unicorn now has 95 horns, after raising $600M in fresh funding at a chunky $95B valuation. That's nearly 3X its last reported valuation from April 2020. For reference: Facebook's last valuation before going public was ~$83B.

95 (invisible) horns... You don't see Stripe, but you've probably used it while paying for something online. Stripe allows companies to quickly transfer credit card payments directly into their biz bank accounts.

  • Millions of companies of all sizes use Stripe's software to accept payments and manage their financials. Stripe makes money by charging fees for each transaction. Competitors include: Adyen, PayPal, and Square.
  • 89%: The probability that your credit card has been used on Stripe's network. Amazon, DoorDash, Uber, Spotify, Zoom, and Glossier are all Stripe customers.
  • Stripe's mission is "to increase the GDP of the internet" (read: get more people to pay for stuff online). It wants to be the backbone of ecommerce growth.

Stripe is a "stoxygen" company... Stoxygen factor = how necessary a company is to other companies, and how invisible it is to customers. Like oxygen, Stripe's payments software is crucial and invisible — and it's everywhere in the online economy. Other business-to-business stoxygen companies: Amazon's AWS (cloud computing), Shopify (ecommerce payments), and Salesforce (customer support). The wild thing: all those "invisible" companies use Stripe's stoxygen, too. As the online economy continues to grow, Stripe is poised to grow with it.