On Monday, the BBC ran a feature on John Collison, the “youngest self-made billionaire” in the world. The 27-year-old, along with his brother, founded a company called Stripe in 2011, which would help companies and individuals process payments online.
The current valuation for Stripe, based out of San Francisco, runs over $9 billion, with Collison now estimated to be worth $1.1 billion himself.
And it would appear that some of those funds come from helping disgraced provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos make money.
Earlier this month, following ThinkProgress’s reporting, Yiannopoulos parted ways with Shopify, a Canadian company that had prior provided Yiannopoulos with a means of monetizing the latest white nationalist memes — even though Yiannopoulos had collaborated with white supremacists and was fired from Breitbart for his seeming willingness to condone pedophilia.
On Monday, however, Yiannopoulos launched “Dangerous,” which he claimed would be “the leading destination for media from the New Right.” The site was password-protected sometime Monday afternoon but the “Dangerous Boutique” store that went live alongside it remains online — as is Yiannopoulos’s apparent partnership with Stripe.
Yiannopoulos’s current slate of products range from “Feminism is Cancer” mugs to Batman-ripoff T-shirts. He is also selling a shirt that reads that “Milo did nothing wrong,” an apparent reference to his pedophilia-related comments that forced him out of Breitbart.
Stripe’s involvement with Yiannopoulos’s new store – which remains one of his sole sources of revenue, following his recent fallout with hedge fund manager Robert Mercer – becomes clear when users try to purchase any items from Yiannopoulos’s store.
Users can only pay for the items with credit cards. As the site reads: “Credit Card (Stripe),” followed by “Pay with your credit card via Stripe.”
Stripe also appears over two dozen times in the store website’s source code.
ThinkProgress’s questions to Stripe went unanswered, and it remains unclear if Stripe is aware that Yiannopoulos is using their service to make money and build his brand. Nonetheless, Yiannopoulos has not hidden his mutually beneficial relationship with Stripe.
As Collison told BBC, “As long as the internet economy continues to grow, Stripe will continue to grow.” And it appears that as long as Yiannopoulos’s new business grows, so, too, will Stripe.