It's a rough time for most startups, but not for all startups. 

Global payments app Stripe's ($PRIVATE:STRIPE) CEO John Collison tells Axios' Dan Primack that the company is extending a fundraising round to reel in hundreds of millions of more dollars, at a $36 billion valuation that should impress, if not intimidate, startups and even consumer banks leading the financial services space. And, at a time when so many other startups are shutting their doors, furloughing and laying off staff - Stripe's growth trajectory continues almost unabated. 

Year-over-year, Stripe's headcount has risen more than 15%, according to data tracked via LinkedIn. The tiny blip toward the end of 2019, isn't likely reflective of attrition or layoffs, so much as it is a reflection of a number of duplicate or inactive profiles being stripped from LinkedIn. 

However, year-over-year, Stripe's job postings have declined a bit - perhaps tied to the fact they've hired hundreds of new staffers over the same timeframe. There are plenty of startups that have seen drops in job postings - in fact, far steeper than Stripe's - and the relative, the recent decline doesn't suggest much of an impact to the payment app's business - Collison told Axios that new users have flooded into the platform since March. 

Finally, the Twitter following - which isn't an indicator of success, although, social chatter has a tendency to be a decent indicator (historically, too) of when a bank or financial services firm has let down consumers, more often than when it impresses them. 

And, Stripe must keep looking over its shoulder. New legacy competitors, like Goldman Sachs' Marcus app, are invading startups' territory -  and other big banks are seeing higher digital engagement with more apps, as branches remain unaccessible in the shutdown. At a time when more people are forced to transact digitally, the payments space could experience a sea change in the months that lie ahead that reshape the entire financial services industry.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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