A TECHNOLOGY start-up run by two Limerick brothers in their early twenties has been valued at over $100m after some of the top investors in the US flocked to buy a stake in the company.
Former Castletroy College students Patrick and John Collision founded the company, which they called Stripe, in mid-2010. They have developed a system for making online payments.
Leading business news site Bloomberg valued the company at over $100m after the latest round of fundraising, which attracted $18 million in venture capital funding. This is in addition to the $1.8m in seed capital the brothers raised to start the company.
Despite their young ages, the brothers are already millionaires - as well as being veterans of the silicon valley world. In 2009, while still in their teens, they netted more than $5m when they sold the internet company they had established just over a year earlier.
The software developed by Stripe lets web developers take payments via the internet, without having to set up their own merchant bank account or store consumers’ credit cards. This makes it attractive to small-scale operators who may not have the resources to set up more traditional online payment accounts, such as PayPal.
Stripe’s $100 million valuation is “off the charts, statistically,” Bloomberg reported Michael J. Patrick, a lawyer at Fenwick & West LLP who works with Silicon Valley startups, as saying.
Patrick and John began working on the idea for the company when they studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.
Since then, the pair have relocated to Palo Alto, one of the main cities in Silicon Valley, to work on the business.
Patrick won the BT Young Scientist of the Year in 2005 for his programming language Croma for the web.
He took A-levels rather than the leaving certificate to go to college sooner than otherwise possible.
John’s academic record is equally impressive - in 2010, he got the maximum 600 points in his Leaving Cert in Castletroy College.
The brothers were ninth in last year’s Sunday Times’ countdown of young Irish millionaires, excluding those employed in sport.