PayPal, 20 Years On
Plus: MoneyGram, Mortgage Rates, Storm Eunice
This week marks the twentieth anniversary of PayPal’s initial listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The company didn’t survive long on the public markets; it was acquired by eBay just five months after its stock market debut. But it left its mark. PayPal was around to offer online payments at the birth of ecommerce and has continued to grow as ecommerce has grown. At IPO, the company was valued at $790 million; today, even after having halved since its pandemic peak last summer, its market cap is over 150 times that.
More than anything else, PayPal is best known for its founding team, the so-called PayPal Mafia. Turn to the management section of its initial filing prospectus and you find this:
A lot has been written about what these individuals went on to accomplish. Peter Thiel and Elon Musk are two of the most famous people to have come out of Silicon Valley; Max Levchin is the founder of Affirm, Reid Hoffman of Li…