Internet payment processor Stripe is reportedly eyeing a public offering and has set a 12-month timeline to explore the possibility.
Stripe has hired Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase to advise on the feasibility and timing of a public-market debut, according to a Jan. 26 report by The Wall Street Journal. A source with knowledge of the matter told the Journal that Stripe's executives will either take the company public or allow employees to sell shares in a private transaction.
The Journal also reported that Stripe’s management is unlikely to pursue a traditional initial public offering because the company doesn’t need to raise additional capital. Rather, the company is more likely to pursue a direct listing. In such a scenario, Stripe would place existing shares on a public stock exchange and let the market decide the price.
Founded in 2009 by Irish entrepreneurs John and Patric Collison, Stripe provides payment processing solutions for several major internet companies, including Shopify and Instacart. The company raised $600 million in 2021 at a valuation of $95 billion. Its investors included Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency, Fidelity Investments and insurers Allianz and AXA.
Stripe has had a hot-and-cold relationship with digital assets dating back to at least 2014. In 2015, the company announced that it would accept Bitcoin (BTC), allowing users to send and receive BTC as they would fiat currencies. Stripe’s Bitcoin payment services would be halted in 2018 after three years, with the company’s founders claiming that BTC is better served as an asset rather than a medium of exchange.
The company reentered the crypto sector during the bull market of 2021 with a renewed focus on blockchain payments. The following year, Stripe announced fiat payment support for cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens. Through new application programming interfaces, businesses can now use Stripe to accept fiat payments for crypto.
As reported by Cointelegraph, Stripe also launched a new payout program in 2021 that would allow select content creators to withdraw earnings denominated in USD Coin (USDC).