Stripe, the financial infrastructure platform for businesses, recently celebrated its tenth anniversary of serving Irish businesses by releasing data that highlights the significant growth of Ireland’s internet economy. The past decade has seen an improvement in conditions for local startups, including access to a more established venture capital ecosystem, a talented pool of individuals trained at major technology companies, and a network of experienced founders. These factors have allowed many companies to develop tools that facilitate the entry of less tech-savvy businesses into the online economy, leading to a significant increase in online economic activity across the country.
Stripe’s data offers insights into Ireland’s impressive growth. In 2013, only a few hundred Irish businesses used the platform, but today, tens of thousands of ventures rely on Stripe, with hundreds more joining every week. Notable companies such as Glofox and Wayflyer have been built on Stripe from the outset, while heritage enterprises like the GAA, Irish Life, and Smyths Toys Superstores have reinvented themselves for the digital age using the platform.
In the past decade, Irish businesses have processed over €20 billion on Stripe. Reflecting on the transformation in Ireland’s tech scene, John Collison, co-founder and president of Stripe, remarked on the significant progress made. Previously, tech founders struggled to raise funds and compete for talent, while small businesses lacked the necessary tools to operate online. Today, Ireland produces software companies at an industrial scale, and the internet economy is thriving. Collison is optimistic about the future, with new talent emerging from programs like the University of Limerick’s Immersive Software Engineering and accelerators like NDRC, paving the way for exciting innovations from Irish founders.
While Dublin remains dominant in Ireland’s internet economy, being home to all seven Irish companies valued at $1 billion or more and boasting the largest number of Stripe users in the country, other regions have experienced rapid growth. Easy access to online financial infrastructure has been the catalyst for significant expansion beyond the capital city. Over the past five years, nearly all of Ireland’s counties have witnessed faster growth in payment volume on Stripe compared to Dublin. Counties such as Cork, Carlow, and Galway have experienced the fastest acceleration.
Looking ahead to the next decade, the outlook for Ireland’s internet economy appears particularly promising. Technology that facilitates online business operations will soon permeate all sectors of the Irish economy, unlocking growth opportunities for traditional industries. Every value chain will be redesigned around the internet, and new innovations spanning artificial intelligence to fintech regulation will enable the emergence of business models that were previously inconceivable. The stage is set for Ireland to continue its remarkable evolution in the digital landscape.
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