Stripe eyes Exit..

Stripe has set a 12-month deadline for itself to go public, either through a direct listing, or pursuing a transaction on the private market, such as a fundraising event and a tender offer, according to sources familiar with the matter. The news, as first reported by the Wall Street Journal, comes as a surprise considering the rather dry public market activity in the tech world.

Stripe declined to comment on the record about the deadline or current revenue.

The payments giant was founded in 2010, so the fact that it’s exploring avenues for exit is not entirely surprising. Most recently publicly valued at $95 billion, Stripe has not been immune to the global downturn, however. In November, it laid off 14% of its staff, or around 1,120 people. And the company has slashed its internal valuation more than once over the past year. Earlier this month, TechCrunch reported that Stripe had cut its internal valuation to $63 billion. That 11% cut came after an internal valuation cut that occurred six months prior, which valued the company at $74 billion.

According to the Journal, Stripe has hired Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan to help it evaluate which course of action makes the most sense for the company.

Founded in Ireland by brothers John and his brother Patrick Collison (the CEO), Stripe last raised venture capital in March of 2021 — a $600 million round that gave it that lofty $95 billion valuation. That financing included backing from two major insurance players. Allianz, via its Allianz X fund, and Axa participated in the round, along with Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Sequoia Capital and an investor from the founders’ home country, Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

Stripe reportedly notched gross revenues of $12 billion and was EBITDA profitable in 2021, according to Forbes. The company’s products, in its own words, power payments for online and in-person retailers, subscriptions businesses, software platforms and marketplaces, “and everything in between.”

Late-stage tech companies have largely avoided debuting onto the public market over the past year due to general volatility hammering stocks. Has Stripe missed its window to have gone public, or is it kicking off a trend to be followed by other behemoths in the space? Guess that’s what it’s trying to figure out.

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