Stripe was born after Collison and his brother Patrick “took up coding as kids, competing against each other to master the craft,” according to Forbes. The two brothers were tech entrepreneurs long before Stripe was born.
Both dropped out of prestigious universities (Patrick from MIT, John from Harvard) to co-found their first start-up, Auctomatic, a venture that helped manage transactions for sellers on e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay. The Collison brothers sold the startup for a cool $5 million in 2008—when they were still teenagers.
Stripe, which currently employs more than 500 people, processes billions of dollars in transactions in 25 different countries every year. Its backers include tech giants such as Peter Thiel and Elon Musk. Despite this riotous success, the brothers are known in Silicon Valley to be both humble and enthusiastic.
“Heartening as the success to date has been, we are so early in accomplishing the goals that we set out for ourselves,” Patrick told Forbes in 2016. “If anyone here believes that Stripe has already made it, that would be hugely problematic for us.”