Business

Who Owns PayPal? – Here Is Everything You Should Know

In this article, you will get to know all about an American multinational financial technology company operating an online payment system.

In the world of online payments, few names are as well-known as PayPal. Founded in 1998 as Confinity, the company has since become a global leader in online transactions, offering a digital alternative to traditional paper methods such as checks and money orders. Its rise to prominence was partly fueled by its acquisition by online marketplace giant eBay in 2002, which helped to make PayPal the go-to choice for millions of Internet shoppers.

Since then, PayPal has undergone significant changes, including its spin-off into an independent company in 2015. But despite these changes, the company has remained committed to providing its users with top-notch security and protection against identity theft, making it a trusted and reliable name in the world of online finance. In this article, we will explore the history of PayPal and the people behind it, as well as its current ownership structure and its plans for the future.

PayPal founded

Image Source: Business Insider

Image Source: Business Insider

PayPal, an American multinational financial technology company, was founded in December 1998 in Palo Alto, California, United States. The company is responsible for operating online payment systems in most countries that support online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to standard paper methods such as checks and money orders. The company acts as a payment processor for online vendors, auction sites, and many other commercial users. Furthermore, PayPal charges a fee for all these functions.

PayPal was founded 25 years ago as a confinity in 1998, 22 years ago as X.com in October 1999, and 22 years ago in March as PayPal by Luke Nosek, Yu Pan, Ken Howery, Max Levchin, and Peter Thiel. In addition, PayPal is served almost worldwide, but its corporate headquarters are in California, the US, and San Jose, and the operative center is in La Vista, Nebraska, US. Moreover, PayPal went through an IPO in 2002. It became a wholly known subsidiary of eBay later that year and was valued at 1.5 billion.

In 2015, eBay spun off PayPal to its shareholders, and PayPal became an independent company once again. Consequently, the company was ranked 143rd on the 2022 Fortune 500 of the largest United States corporations by revenue. In March 2000, Confinity merged with x.com, an online financial service founded in March 1999 by Elon Musk, Christopher Payne, Harris Fricker, and Ed Ho. Musk was optimistic about the future success of the money transfer business Cofinity was developing.

Bill Harris and Elon Musk, then-president and CEO of X.com, disagreed about the potential future success of the money transfer business, and Harris left the company in May 2000.

History of PayPal

Image Source: Aakash Gupta

Image Source: Aakash Gupta

PayPal originated as Confinity in December 1998 by Luke Nosek, Max Levchin, and Peter Thiel. Confinity was a company that developed security software for hand-held devices. Facing failure and no success with that business model, it switched its focus to a digital wallet. The first version of the PayPal electronic payments system was launched in 1999 for the first time. In March 2000, Confinity merged with x.com, an online financial services company founded in March 1999 by Elon Musk, Ed Ho, Christopher Payne, and Harris Fricker. Musk had an extreme passion for acquiring future success in the money transfer business Confinity was developing.

Harris left the company in May 2000 because he disagreed about the potential future success of the money transfer business. In October 2000, Musk decided that X.com would cease its other Internet banking operations and focus on PayPal. However, in the same month, Elon Musk was replaced by Peter Thiel as CEO of X.com. They renamed it PayPal in 2001 and went public in 2002. PayPal’s IPO was listed under the ticker PYPL at $13 per share and generated over $61 million.

Shortly after PayPal’s IPO, the company was acquired by eBay on October 3, 3002, for $1.5 billion in eBay stock. PayPal became the default payment method used by the majority of eBay users, and the service competed with eBay’s subsidiary Billpoint, as well as Yahoo!’s PayDirect, Google Checkout, and Citibank’s c2it. In 2005, PayPal received the VeriSign payment solution to provide added security support.

In 2007, PayPal declared a partnership with MasterCard, which led to the development and launch of the PayPal Secure Card service. This software allows customers to make payments on websites that do not accept PayPal directly. By the end of 2007, the company hit $1.8 billion in revenue.

How does PayPal work?

PayPal is a platform that authorizes users to manage money and offers a flexible choice when sending payments, paying, or getting paid. The idea is to allow customers to make safe and easy transactions without involving credit or debit cards. Once you register the information while creating the PayPal account, there is no need to do it when purchasing. Nowadays, PayPal is available in more than 200 countries and regions all over the world, being a practical tool for both personal and professional usage. Being a PayPal member gives you plenty of advantages.

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  • Time-saving – Bank transfers using this platform can take up to 24 hours while convening money between sellers is an immediate process.
  • Safety – The business’s top priority is helping clients keep their data safe against loss, misuse, unauthorized access, disclosure, and alteration. They use the latest anti-fraud technology to make sure that their clients’ transactions are highly secure.
  • Privacy – PayPal users can control how personal data is collected or shared and how the organization communicates with them.
  • Low cost – Users can easily use the platform by paying a conversion fee between 9% and 4.4% of the transaction amount. The final price can always be seen before paying.
  • Payment history – Customers have the opportunity to track all of their transactions since the account was created. They also have the ability to generate custom statements with a few clicks.

Who owns PayPal?

Paypal was first introduced in 1998; it was called Confinity (among its founders was Peter Theil); later, it merged with X.com. Its major competitor was founded by Elon Musk (which would become for other companies like Tesla and SpaceX). From this merger, PayPal was born. In 2002 PayPal was bought by eBay for $1.5 billion. eBay spun off PayPal in 2015, which would be listed as an independent identity. Today PayPal owns brands like Braintree, Venmo, Zoom, and iZettle.

PayPal major shareholders

Image Source: InsideEVs

Image Source: InsideEVs

Today it has become an empire in the Fintech state. It has top institutional investors, comprising mutual funds like The Vanguard Group, owning 8.01% of PayPal, and BlackRock, owning 6.5% of it. The following table indicates the number of shares:

Name and Mailing Address Number of Shares Beneficially Owned Percent of Shares Beneficially Owned
The Vanguard Group

100 Vanguard Boulevard, Malvern, PA 19355

94,078,240 8.01%
Blackrock, Inc.

55 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10055

75,987,482 6.50%

PayPal’s top individual shareholders include Daniel Schulman, John Rainey, Mark Britto, Lousie Pentald, and Jonathan Auerbach. The following table indicates all the individual shareholders and the number of shares they beneficially hold.

Name Number of Shares Beneficially Owned Percent of Shares Beneficially Owned
Daniel H.Schulman 369,286 61.43%
John D.Rainey 177,841 *
Jonathan Auerbach 101,901 *
Mark Britto 168,358 4.37%
A Louise Pentland 132.019 *
Rodney C. Adkins 18.896 *
Jonathan Christodoro 25, 695 *
John J.Donahoe 68,610 *
David W.Dorman 55,427 *
Belinda J.Johnson 18,765 *
Enrique J.Lores 4135 *
Gail J.Mcgroven 20,194 *
Deborah M.Messemer 6412 *
David M.Moffett 73,657 *
Ann M.Sarnof 13,117 *
Frank D.Yeary 35,227 *
All Directors and Executive Officers as a Group (20 Persons) 1,506,647 *

Offices of PayPal

Image Source: World Atlas

Image Source: World Atlas

PayPal has a wide network of offices spread throughout the entire world. We have enlisted some of its major offices below.

  • PayPal’s corporate headquarters are in the North San Jose Innovation District of San Jose, California, at North First Street Campus.
  • The company’s operation center is in La Vista, Nebraska, which has been open since 1999.
  • Since July 2007, PayPal has been functioning across the European Union as a Luxembourg-based bank.
  • The PayPal European headquarters are in Luxembourg, and the international headquarters are in Singapore.
  • PayPal opened a technology center in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2006 and a software development center in Chennai, India, in 2007.
  • The same year, PayPal opened a data service on the North Side of Austin, Texas, and a second operation center in La Vista, Nebraska.
  • In 2011, PayPal opened a second customer support center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, joining similar customer support operations in Berlin, Germany; Chandler, Arizona; Dublin and Dundalk, Ireland; Omaha, Nebraska; and Shanghai, China.
  • In 2014, PayPal established a new global center of operations in Kuala Lumpur.

When was PayPal founded?

PayPal was founded in 1998 by Palo Alto in San Jose, California, United States. It is a safer way to pay and get paid online. The service permits anyone to pay however they prefer, including through credit cards, bank accounts, PayPal smart connect, or account balances, without sharing financial information. PayPal has become an international leader in online payment solutions with more than 325 million accounts.

Available in 202 countries and 25 currencies around the world, PayPal enables global eCommerce by making payments possible across different locations, languages, and currencies. PayPal has acquired over 20 awards for excellence from the Internet industry and the business community. Most recently, the 2006 Webby People’s Voice award for best financial services site.

PayPal origin

PayPal was originated by Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, Peter Thiel, and Max Levchin in December 1998 as Confinity, a company that developed security software for hand-held devices. Having had no triumph with that business model, it switched its focus to a digital wallet. PayPal was heavily used by the internet auction company eBay, which owned PayPal from 2002 to 2015. PayPal was the product of a merger between X.com and Confinity, allowing users to pay for purchased goods or exchange money between accounts in a secure online transaction.

PayPal background

PayPal was based in the 90s but officially launched in October 2000. During its early stage of development, it achieved massive success mainly due to its referral system and small charges of $20, $10, and later $5 for sign-up. During its history, PayPal acquired almost 10% in daily growth. Most of the features offered by PayPal are similar to what you get with a bank account, but PayPal is not a bank. Instead, it’s a fintech company that provides digital-payment services.

When did PayPal start?

PayPal is a financial technology company that was started in December 1998 as Confinity, in October 1999 as X.com, and in March 2000 as PayPal by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek, Ken Howery, and Yu Pan. On October 10, 2003, PayPal, which is a leading global online payment service, launched PayPal UK, its first international website and service (https://www.paypal.co.uk) designed exclusively for users in the United Kingdom.

The first thing to know about sending and receiving money with PayPal is that all transactions are monitored 24/7 to help control something like identity theft, fraud, and email phishing. PayPal also uses what it defines as ‘next level’ data encryption to protect your money and personal details.

PayPal is an excellent company on the world stage that makes life better for people and shows they support everyone in multiple ways. They are honest and reliable in their dealings with employees and society. People love working for a company that helps businesses large and small, minority and majority.

How did PayPal start?

PayPal was started when its founders realized that there was a need to transfer money internationally. PayPal’s history begins back in 1998 when it was established as Confinity by Max Levchin and Peter Theil. In 1999 it was founded as a platform for transferring money and received its initial public offering in 2002. It was based in the 90s but officially launched in October 2000. During its early stage of evolution, it gained massive success mainly due to its referral system and small charges of $20, $10, and later $5 for sign-up.

During this time of its history, PayPal attained almost 10% in daily growth. The company has begun edging into the lucrative but combustible cryptocurrency market, focusing on the technology’s underlying Blockchain platform and shying away from Bitcoin – for the time being.

PayPal facts

Image Source: Quora

Image Source: Quora

There are authentic facts about PayPal that state it is an American multinational financial technology company operating an online payments system in most countries. It supports online money transfers and is an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods such as checks and money orders. It was founded in December 1998 in Palo Alto, California, United States. Although PayPal is a multinational company, its headquarters are in San Jose, California, United States.

PayPal is further divided into PayPal Inc (PPI) and PayPal Pte.Ltd (3PL), PayPal Payments Pte. Holdings (POLLUX), PayPal Payments Pte Limited (4PL). Moreover, its subsidiaries are Paydiant, Venmo; Xoom Corporation; Tradera; Braintree; Honey, PayPal Credit; and Zettle. The founders of PayPal are Ken Howert, Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, Yu Pan, and Luke Nosek.

When was PayPal sold?

Image Source: eBay Inc

Image Source: eBay Inc

PayPal is sold to eBay for 1.5 Billion in a highly touted marriage between digital auction and online payment services. After watching PayPal become the premier choice of Internet auction shoppers, online marketplace giant eBay obtained PayPal for $1.5 billion in October 2002. As eBay bought PayPal, eBay spun off PayPal in 2015, which would be listed as an independent entity. Today, PayPal owns brands like Venmo, iZettle, Braintree, and Xoom.

However, Pierre Omidyar founded an online auction on eBay in 1995 and now serves on the company’s board. In 2002 eBay purchased the online payment company PayPal and spun it off in 2014. Omidyar presently owns 5% of eBay and 6% of PayPal.

PayPal history timeline

Image Source: Twitter

Image Source: Twitter

PayPal’s history begins back in 1998 when it was established as Confinity by Max Levchin and Peter Theil. In 1999, it was founded as a platform for transferring money and received its initial public offering in 2002. PayPal’s growth path rose in the company’s early years and soon began racking up some impressive growth benchmarks.

  • In August 1998, Peter Thiel met Max Levchin after Thiel gave a speech at Stanford University on global market opportunities. Later that year, they came up with the idea of digital wallets.
  • In December 1998, PayPal was founded, although its original name was Confinity.
  • In July 1999, PayPal raised a $3,000,000 series A round from BlueRun Ventures.
  • In October 1999, a company engineer produced an email-based payment technology.
  • In January 2000, PayPal’s founders and managers noticed that end users were online asking commercial partners and other buyers to sign up for PayPal to foster quicker payments. PayPal instantly paves the way for eBay payments on the site, giving PayPal a considerable user-base boost. PayPal raises a $23,000,000 series B round from Clearstone Venture Partners and Goldman Sachs.
  • In March 2000, Confinity joined forces with x.com, which is an online financial services company founded in March 1999 by Elon Musk. Furthermore, PayPal cleared the 1 million customer mark.
  • In April 2000, PayPal raised a $100,000,000 series C round from Hikari Tsushin Group, Madison Dearborn Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Singtel Group, Temasek Holdings, and Vertex.
  • In February 2001, PayPal raised a $90,000,000 series D round from Bankinter, ING Group, and Omnes Capital.
  • In June 2001, the founders ditched the Confinity name and officially changed it to PayPal.
  • In February 2002, PayPal (PYPL-Nasdaq) went public with the issuance of new company stock. The IPO was a hit as PayPal stock increased by over 50% and closed its first trading day at $20 per share.
  • In October 2002, PayPal was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion in a highly touted “marriage” between digital auction and online payment services.
  • In February 2006, PayPal surpassed 100 million end-user accounts.
  • In April 2006, PayPal rolled out a new mobile payment platform, PayPal Mobile, allowing customers to pay via PayPal through their smartphone devices.
  • In December 2008, PayPal hit ten years of age and neared the 150 million user accounts user mark.
  • In September 2013, PayPal acquired payments gateway company Braintree Systems, owner of Venmo, an online payment competitor, for $800 million.
  • In Early 2014, Trouble brewed as Wall Street provocateur Carl Icahn, a major PayPal shareholder, demanded that the company part ways with eBay.
  • In July 2014, company shareholders agreed with Icahn, forcing a split between the two tech giants with the end result that PayPal was once again a single, publicly-traded company. The day PayPal’s stock starts trading, the company’s market value crests a whopping $49 billion, immediately creating an army of PayPal millionaires.
  • In July 2015, Paypal agreed to buy Xoom, a digital money transfer firm, for $890 million, which paved the way for the company to accelerate handling international payments.
  • In January 2016, Venmo, now a PayPal subsidiary, surpassed $1 billion in payments processed for a month – its highest level ever.
  • In February 2017, PayPal launched its first peer-to-peer payment system, thus establishing a solid foothold in the emerging P2P marketplace.
  • In September 2019 People’s Bank of China approved PayPal’s acquisition of a 70% controlling stake in GoPay.
  • In 2020 According to Pantera Capital’s monthly blockchain newsletter PayPal and Jack Dorsey’s Cash App bought 100% of the recently invented Bitcoin.
  • On May 28, 202, PayPal and PruPay launched touchless payments for customers, which they can do through text messaging.
  • On October 21, 2020, it announced it would allow its users to use cryptocurrency.
  • On November 19, 2020, Paypal launched the Generosity Network, which is a new crowdsourced fundraising platform to counter GoFundMe.
  • On December 9, 2020, the PayPal and iZettles point of sale apps launched touch-free payments to support the UK through the lockdown.
  • In March 2021, PayPal bought cryptocurrency storage and transfer service Curv, categorized as PayPals second major purchase that year.
  • On March 30, 2021, PayPal started accepting payments through Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
  • On April 13, 2021, PayPal launched fraud management tools which were designed to protect small and enterprise customers from all the digital fraud that is taking place in recent times.
  • On March 13, 2021, PayPal bought Happy Returns.
  • On August 23, 2021, PayPal launched a new service for its UK users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency.
  • On September 28, 2021, PayPal announced that it acquired Paidy for about $2.7 billion.
  • On October 20, 2021, Bloomberg reported that PayPal is interested in acquiring Pinterest with an approximate price of $70 per share. Currently, there is a surety that the talks between the parties would lead to an agreement.
  • In June 2022, Shopify and PayPal partnered up to offer Shopify Payments to sellers in France.
  • In February 2023, PayPal announced that it would be laying off 2,000 workers, or 7% of its workforce.
  • In February 2023, it was reported that CEO Dan Schulman would step away from his role by the end of 2023. Schulman will continue to serve on the board of directors after resigning from the position of CEO of PayPal.

Criticism and controversies

PayPal has been a victim of many controversies and still continues to be a target of criticism in various areas. PayPal, as we know, is one of the most popular online payment systems; it has revolutionized how people transfer money online. However, its widespread use has come with a fair share of criticism and controversies. In this section, we will explore some of the issues with the use of PayPal, from accusations of unfair business practices to concerns about security and privacy.

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  • Mediator for Online Gambling: In 2003, PayPal stopped acting as a mediator for online gambling transactions. When PayPal ceased its operation regarding gambling, it was one of the leading payment processors for such transactions. However, in 2010, it resumed processing these payments, but only in countries where online gambling is legal and licensed.
  • Freeze on accounts: Paypal has been criticized for freezing users’ accounts without any sort of warning or explanation, often resulting in financial difficulties for the affected individuals.
  • High fees: The company has faced criticism for its high fees, especially for international transactions, which can be as high as 7.4% of the transaction amount.
  • Limited customer support: PayPal’s customer support has been criticized for being slow and ineffective, with many users reporting difficulty resolving issues.
  • Security concerns: There have been reports of severe security breaches and fraud involving PayPal, leading to concerns about users’ financial information safety.
  • Anti-competitive behavior: PayPal has been accused of engaging in anti-competitive behavior by limiting the ability of other payment providers to access its platform.
  • Political controversies: The company has faced criticism for its political affiliations, including its ties to the conservative organization Alliance Defending Freedom.
  • Discrimination against certain users: Some users have reported difficulty in resolving disputes with PayPal, with the company often siding with the seller rather than the buyer.
  • Unfair account closures: PayPal has been criticized for its practice of closing accounts without explanation, often resulting in the loss of funds for the affected users.
  • Lack of transparency: The company has been accused of lacking transparency in its business practices, including its fees and policies regarding account freezes and closures.

PayPal company history

In 1999, PayPal was launched as a platform for transferring money and received its initial public offering in 2002. Its rise to fame came when eBay acquired PayPal in 2002 for 41.5 billion. After this tremendous step, PayPal started to grow across the world, accepted by many online merchants. Under eBay, PayPal extended its reach internationally for the next couple of years. In 2006, the payments colossus added ten currencies to its platform, including the Singapore dollar and the Swiss franc.

A brief history of PayPal

PayPal is an online payment platform that delivers individuals and businesses low-cost services. In addition to online payments, PayPal offers various related services, including debit cards for payments, credit card readers for small merchants, and lines of credit. It is a highly secured financial service backed by the best end-to-end encryption. You should also enable two-factor authentication and delete unused bank accounts or email addresses. Remember that no online service is immune to theft or hacking, even with all this security.

Why was PayPal created?

PayPal was created to drive higher customer adoption, measured by active customer account growth, and increase customer engagement, measured by transactions per account. It is a publicly-traded company, meaning ownership is spread throughout the shareholders.

Where is PayPal based?

PayPal is based in San Jose, California, and was founded in 1998. PayPal Holdings, INC. is an American multinational financial technology company operating an online payments system in most countries that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods such as checks and money orders.

Some countries cannot use PayPal, including Syria, Pakistan, British Indian Ocean Territory, Afghanistan, Cuba, Antarctica, Afghanistan, Bouvet Island, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Christmas Island, Haiti, Heard Island, McDonald Islands, Iran, North Korea, Iraq, Lebanon, Lao, Liberia, Libya, Serbia and Montenegro, and Sudan.

Final words

If you wish to transfer money through PayPal, know that it is a safe platform. PayPal, an American multinational financial technology company, is responsible for operating online payment systems in most countries that support online money transfers. In addition, it serves as an electronic alternative to standard paper methods such as checks and money orders. This platform authorizes its users to manage money and offers a flexible choice when sending payments, paying, or getting paid.

The idea behind it is to allow customers to make safe and easy transactions without involving credit or debit cards. Once you register the information while creating the PayPal account, there is no need to do it when purchasing.