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PayPal Holdings Inc

PayPal Holdings Inc is an American fin-tech company that engages in the online payments industry. It develops solutions that enable its customers to transfer money online. It has become a leader in the industry challenging traditional ways of transferring money such as checks, with over 325 million accounts globally. PayPal can be used by both private individuals and businesses to buy things online, send payments to other PayPal users, and request payments. It makes most of its revenues by charging the users a fee on transactions. The Company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

A subsidiary of eBay

Not long after its IPO in 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay the same year. Many of the eBay users were already utilizing eBay on their auctions and it was a key step to enable online processing of financial transactions. As a subsidiary of eBay, PayPal reached 100 million active users in 2010 located in 190 markets and enabling transactions in 25 different currencies. In 2015 PayPal was spun off from eBay to an independent and publicly traded company again by pressure from the notorious hedge fund activist Carl Ichan. In 2018, PayPal acquired the Swedish company iZettle, founded by Jacob de Geer and Magnus Nilsson, to further enhance their in-store payment capabilities.

The PayPal Mafia

PayPal, as we know it today, was formed through a merger between Confinity, which was founded by Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, and Max Levchin, and, which was founded by Elon Musk. After the merger, the company was renamed to PayPal in 2001. The founders and early employees of PayPal have later been referred to as the “PayPal Mafia” due to many of them later went on and founded other successful ventures. For example, Elon Musk went on and founded Tesla, SpaceX, OpenAI, and Neuralink. Other examples include Peter Thiel, founder of Palantir Technologies and the first outside investor in Facebook, Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, and the founders of YouTube.

The Braintree acquisition

In 2013, PayPal acquired the Chicago-based company Braintree. The acquisition further enhanced PayPal’s capabilities in enabling online payments for e-commerce and merchants such as One Touch Payments which doesn’t require a sign-up or new entering of credit card details when you buy something online. The One Touch Payment solution was initially developed by Venmo that was acquired by Braintree in 2012. Today, Venmo is one of the leading peer-to-peer transactions services that enable individuals to send transfer money between each other. In 2021, Venmo handled over 200 billion U.S. dollars in payments.

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