Stripe’s investment activities stand out

Stripe is the most valuable VC-backed privately held Fintech out of Silicon Valley. At a $95 billion valuation following a March 2021 funding, it has managed to nearly triple its valuation in one year.

The payments Fintech with dual headquarters (Silicon Valley and Dublin) was valued at $36 Billion last November when I wrote about their investment activities — See Stripe has been aggressively investing in startups — 22 and growing.

Stripe seemed to me similar to Tencent (albeit at a much lower scale) in terms of their investment activities. These companies, one private and one public, are acquiring and investing in early-stage companies and are often lead investors. The value of their portfolio of investments is not appreciated enough, especially in the case of Stripe which is still private. The aggressiveness of their investments resembles Venture Capital activities.

The aggressiveness that I highlighted last year, continues at an accelerated pace. Last year, Stripe had invested in 22 deals in total, with 7 (approximately one-third) investments done in 2020. Fast forward to 2021 and year to date, Stripe has already added 19 more investments! This has nearly doubled their investment portfolio in terms of the rounds they have participated in, to 41 in less than a year.

Stripe`s portfolio of investments holds 26 companies in total. Some were early-stage investments like, Twic, PayMongo, Balance. Others were Series E, G, or C investments, like TrueLayer, Monzo, Rapyd. Out of the 41 investment rounds, Stripe was a lead investor in 17 (c. 40%).

  • Twic is a US modern-day benefits platform for employees to choose health and wellness options that are right for them. 2019 investment.
  • PayMongo is a Philippines payment processing startup that provides a payments API that can be integrated into mobile apps or websites. 2019 investment.
  • Balance is an Israeli digital payments platform in the B2B online purchasing experience space. 2021 investment.
  • TrueLayer is a UK fintech platform utilized to build financial apps that connect to bank data, verify accounts, and access transactions. 2021 investments.

The three most recent rounds are ClearTax, TrueLayer, and Wave Mobile Money.

  • Wave Mobile Money is a Senegalese app-based financial solution to save, transfer, and borrow money. Stripe was the lead investor in their Series A in September. Also in September, Stripe participated in Series E of TrueLayer and in October, in ClearTax Series C. All three companies are new to Stripe’s investment portfolio.

Comparing Stripe’s activities to other privately held Fintechs in the payment space, shows their aggressiveness. PayTM, valued at $20B, has participated in 19 investment rounds total and their investment activities have slowed down considerably over the past two years.

Nubank and Klarna have both only participated in 4 investments. The only other privately held Fintech that outnumbers by far Stripe’s investment activity is Ant Group, which counts 106 investments in total. However, Ant’s investment activity peaked in 2018–2019 and over the past two years it has dropped precipitously.

Comparing Stripe’s investment activities to publicly traded Fintechs, complements the picture of how Stripe is positioned to capture internet GDP.

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