Episode 17: Developing Global Infrastructure for Online Commerce with Will Gaybrick, CFO at Stripe

Will gives an inside look at Stripe, one of the most valuable venture-backed startups in the U.S. In this episode, he talks about Stripe’s developer-first ethos, how the company is expanding into international markets, and how to run a great board meeting.

Will is the CFO at Stripe, where he leads Stripe’s financial operations, including economic strategy, business forecasting, financial planning and analysis, and treasury duties. Prior to Stripe, Will was a general partner at Thrive Capital, where he worked closely with internet businesses across all stages and geographies, particularly within software and e-commerce. He’s also worked as a software developer and company founder. Will holds degrees in mathematics from Harvard University and law from Yale.

Highlights from the episode:

1:10 Tell us about your background and what led you to join Stripe as CFO
4:35 What made Stripe an interesting company to join and where do you think the company is headed?
7:33 What was it like to join a team with two well-known founders?
9:45 How does the API business model drive value for the company?
12:17 How has the team built the business to focus on the developer and make sure the developer feels well served?
14:13 Do you have any stories where something in the developer community didn’t go quite as planned? How do you get ahead of issues so they don’t become bigger issues down the line?
16:12 What are some tactics to drive loyalty with developers?
17:02 How do you balance working with customers of all sizes, ranging from startups to big companies? What challenges does that create?
20:50 How does the company think about capturing the global market?
21:58 What tactics does the company use to spur international growth?
27:27 What are concerns for a CFO of a company that has achieved high valuations? How do you manage investor expectations?
30:50 What book do you recommend to founders and executives of high growth companies?
32:19 What makes for a really great board meeting?
34:30 Who is a mentor that has helped you in your career and how might others think about how they can recruit a mentor?

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, Bitsight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.