Stripe’s first acquisition: an acqui-hire of the Belgian team behind Kickoff

Stripe co-founder and CEO Patrick Collison just announced on Twitter that Stripe acquired Kickoff, an iOS and Mac team chat and task application that was still in beta. Kickoff was founded by designer Benjamin De Cock and developer Michaël Villar, who will both join the Stripe team in San Francisco, according to a blog post by Benjamin De Cock.


We asked him via Twitter what will happen to Kickoff, this was his answer:



As Collison explains on HackerNews: “Michael and Ben will still be maintaining Kickoff. There’s some precedent here: before Saikat and Sheena joined Stripe about two years ago, they’d previously been working on Mockingbird ( Since then, they’ve kept the business up and running (on Stripe!). Given both that precedent and how much work Michael and Ben have put into Kickoff, we felt it made sense for them to keep it alive.”

Benjamin De Cock was already working as a freelance designer for Stripe, as he explains on his blog:

About a year ago, I started designing for Stripe as a freelancer. As my experience with Stripe evolved, we talked about ways to work together and eventually decided that it made sense for Stripe to acquire Kickoff. Today, I’m thrilled to announce I’m joining them full-time.

As a designer, Stripe felt kind of a scary place to work at — after all, their product is basically an API — but I quickly became fascinated about both the product and the company itself. Here’s why.

Among the reasons why he likes Stripe so much, De Cock mentions the culture:

The first thing you notice when working for Stripe is the absence of managers. This is really weird at first sight, especially as a freelance where you expect at least “someone” to tell you what to do. No one is telling you what to do at Stripe. You just do. And people actually do a lot. Stripe ships like crazy.

Stripe is a platform that allows developers to easily integrate payment possibilities into their online and mobile applications.

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).