Online payment powerhouse Stripe just opened an office in Seattle, its first engineering outpost outside of Silicon Valley, and it’s already growing fast.
Plans for the Seattle office first surfaced last year, but the company didn’t give details at the time. At the 2017 GeekWire Summit, Stripe co-founder John Collison offered some insight about the company’s growth plans and why it came to Seattle.
“We are hiring here,” Collison said. “We’re aiming to be at 100 by next year, which will be fairly significant growth, and we’re working on it.”
With its new office, Stripe joins the cadre of Silicon Valley powerhouses to arrive on the shores of Seattle — mining the region for its top tech talent. GeekWire has compiled a list of more than 100 companies that have established engineering offices in the region in recent years. The latest is Chinese search giant Baidu, which announced its Seattle-area outpost just this week.
Stripe employs 900 people and has raised more than $450 million in its six-year history. The company provides the online payments backbone for Twitter, Kickstarter, Shopify, Salesforce, Lyft and more than 100,000 other companies. Stripe’s backers include Sequoia Capital, Visa, American Express, Peter Thiel, and Elon Musk.
Collison said Seattle is a good fit for Stripe because of the wealth of engineering talent here, specifically focused on building out platforms.
“Here in Seattle, you have a large number of the people who built two of the most successful platform companies of all time: Amazon and Microsoft,” Collison said. “And so I think it’s a pretty natural choice for us, given the nature of the product we are building, which is a developer-oriented product, an infrastructure product for other businesses.”
So does that mean Seattle is officially Stripe’s HQ2, Axios chief technology correspondent Ina Fried jokingly asked during the interview.
“I think the HQ2 name is taken, sadly,” Collison said. “Plus, we didn’t even run a contest; I didn’t know that’s what you were meant to do.”