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John Collison. Source: Stripe.

Payment technology company Stripe raised $245 million in new funding at a $20 billion valuation. Bloomberg was first to report the news, which was confirmed to Axios by Stripe co-founder John Collison.

Why it matters: This will only heat up IPO speculation around Stripe, which to date has refused to even give a tentative timeline.

Collison says that the entire round is primary capital, and that much of it will be used to finance international expansion (today the San Francisco-based company announced a new engineering hub in Singapore). It also should enable Stripe to handle more large accounts, such as relatively new clients like Uber, Didi Chuxing and Spotify.

  • The round included new investors Tiger Global and DST Global, and Collison said that Stripe's 5-person board of directors now includes Jonathan Chadwick (ex-VMWare) and Michelle Wilson (ex-Amazon).
  • The rest of the board includes Collison, his brother Patrick (CEO of Stripe) and longtime investor Michael Moritz (Sequoia Capital).

Stripe earlier this year gave up on allowing Bitcoin as a payment method, with Collison saying today: "We are very interested in crypto long term and follow it closely. Bitcoin wasn’t a great payment experience for anyone though."

Go deeper via Bloomberg:

[Patrick] Collison conceded that the current political landscape is making it harder to chase Stripe’s goal of simplifying transactions across borders. “The Trump administration reversed the policy on opening up Cuba,” he said. “We were excited to go there and sadly we can’t.” More broadly, heavier regulations in Europe and China’s closed internet have balkanized online commerce."

Go deeper

Updated 42 mins ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.