Stripe, a payments start-up that has been one of the most valuable privately held tech companies in Silicon Valley, has lowered its internal valuation 28 percent, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, in another sign of how the fluctuating stock market and economic uncertainty are affecting private companies.
Investors had valued Stripe at $95 billion last year. The new internal share price, which does not affect the value of shares owned by external investors, puts it at $74 billion, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information was private.
The Wall Street Journal first reported on the news of Stripe lowering its internal valuation.
Shares of tech companies such as Meta, Netflix and Coinbase began tumbling this spring as rising inflation and interest rates created uncertainty over their ability to keep growing as quickly as they have been. The sell-off has prompted private start-ups to evaluate whether their soaring valuations over the past two years will hold up. Instacart, the grocery delivery start-up, lowered its internal valuation in March 38 percent to $24 billion from $39 billion.
In recent months, venture capital investors have warned of a coming recession and preached caution, telling companies to cut costs and freeze hiring. Funding to start-ups in the United States fell 23 percent in the last three months from a year ago, the largest drop since 2019, according to PitchBook, which tracks start-ups. Nearly 350 tech start-ups around the world have cut 53,000 workers this year, according to Layoffs.fyi, which tracks start-up layoffs.
Some start-ups have been forced to raise capital at lower valuations. This week, Klarna Bank, a “buy now pay later” payments start-up based in Sweden, announced it raised capital in a funding round that valued it at $6.7 billion. Investors had valued it at $45 billion last June.
Other start-ups are pre-emptively lowering their valuations as a way to attract employees. Start-ups compensate their workers with stock that promises to be valuable in an initial public offering or acquisition. But it is a less attractive offer if job candidates think the equity is overvalued.
Stripe was founded in 2010 by the entrepreneurs and brothers John and Patrick Collison. Its software allows companies to process payments online. The company started out selling to small start-ups and expanded to larger companies, reportedly bringing in $2.5 billion in net revenue last year, according to Forbes. It employs more than 8,000 people, according to PitchBook.
The company has been named as a candidate to go public for years. But the market for I.P.O.s has been abysmal this year. Sales and public debuts of start-ups fell 88 percent to $49 billion in the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year.