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Take a pay cut to work from a cheaper city? Many Stripe workers took that deal

June 16, 2021, 6:31 AM UTC

Stripe Inc. saw “major uptake” of the unusual offer it made to staff during the pandemic: Leave high-cost cities like New York and San Francisco and take a $20,000 bonus to boot.

The catch? Workers had to consent to a 10% cut to their base compensation.

“We saw pretty major uptake,” John Collison, Stripe’s co-founder and president, said Tuesday on Bloomberg Television. “There were a lot of people where they took advantage of all the remote working that was going on last year to be able to move to be closer to their families, to somewhere they wanted to move previously.”

Stripe—dually headquartered in Dublin and San Francisco—has long been considered a leader among Silicon Valley firms in its embrace of remote work. It began hiring engineers who work from home as early as 2013 and six years later opened a fully remote engineering hub.

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“We have not come to our ultimate stance or ultimate decision of what the exact mix of in-office versus remote will be,” Collison said. “Everyone has been working remotely during a pandemic but I think that’s going to be very different from the steady state of working remotely.”

The payments company in March became the most valuable U.S. startup, drawing a $95 billion valuation after raising $600 million in a fundraising round. For now, Collison and his brother Patrick—who is co-founder and chief executive officer—aren’t focused on an initial public offering.

“We still have no plans to IPO,” Collison said. “We’re having lots of fun building Stripe. Maybe we do, maybe we don’t someday but right now we have no plans.”

Overseas Payments

Collison said he viewed Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as one way for consumers to buy goods and services from overseas merchants. He noted that just over one-fifth of commerce today is cross-border.

Stripe, for its part, is focused on handling more payment methods as a way to make the movement of money overseas easier—for instance, by making it easier for U.S. merchants to accept the Chinese mobile app Alipay.

“Crypto is one very exciting direction for trying to solve that,” Collison said. “Absolutely it’s a problem and we’re picking another approach to solve that.”

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