How Stripe became Stripe, a look inside the startup naming process

One of the questions I’m always looking to answer is how a particular company came up with the brand name they decided to build their company around. As many of you know I have gone through this process twice with our startup, beginning our life as Fashion Metric and recently rebranding to Bold Metrics.


Popular brandable domain name marketplace BrandBucket has helped many of the startups we all know and love find a solid domain name without the hassle of hiring a dedicated broker or trying to negotiate directly with a domain owner. Companies like Mattermark, Zomato, and Envato got their domains on BrandBucket and the list goes on.


Last year there was a great blog post on BrandBucket that I think is worth reading if you’re a startup founder trying to pick the right name for your company. It’s a look inside the decision process that Stripe went through and like most things, it all started with a bit of a bumpy ride:

This is a tale of failure and redemption that began back in 2010. At that time Stripe was just a fledgling startup called, “/dev/payments.”  The new venture’s goal was to build a payments API that catered to developers. Their odd company name, complete with slashes, was designed to speak to developers who were finding it difficult to add payment options to mobile apps.
However, several things went wrong. For one, their home state of Delaware wouldn’t allow them to incorporate using a company name that started with the slash symbol.  So they changed the symbols to words and filed under the amended brand, “SLASHDEVSLASHFINANCE.”  This allowed them to not only to meet the state filings requirements but also to expand the scope of their business as well. (Source – BrandBucket Blog)

It’s always interesting to see how brand names change over time. When we first started Fashion Metric we could have never known how our business was going to grow and evolve over the years. The process of realizing it’s time for a name change, and then going through that change is no easy task and definitely takes more than just sitting in a room, coming up with a name, and making a press release.

To hear the full story of how Stripe landed on their name you can read the rest of the blog post on BrandBucket here.

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton