Stripe, one of the most valuable financial technology startups in the world, was hit with one of its longest periods of downtime ever on Wednesday. The company’s services were offline for almost two hours cumulatively throughout the day, meaning some companies that rely on Stripe to process payments could not accept orders during that time.
Stripe was last valued by investors at $23 billion, and builds software and payment infrastructure to help businesses accept money online.
“We know that you and millions of other businesses rely on Stripe,” the startup said in a post-mortem on the outage that it plans to publish Thursday, according to an e-mail reviewed by Bloomberg. “However,” it went on, for about half an hour at about noon New York time, and for more than an hour after 5 p.m., “the Stripe API was severely degraded. A fraction of API requests succeeded, but most of them failed.”
Tech outages have become commonplace in recent months, with companies like Facebook, Reddit, and, most recently, Twitter reporting issues. But because Stripe is used by businesses to make sales, the downtime can take more of a toll on users.
On social media, small businesses complained about the failure, with one offering discounts to affected customers. One New York-based startup said it lost roughly $100,000 in sales because of the lack of payment processing, some of which it won’t be able to recoup. An executive at the company asked not to be named to avoid complicating future negotiations with Stripe. The downtime will also have a financial impact for Stripe itself, which charges a small fee on payments it processes.
Large companies like Uber Technologies and Amazon also use Stripe, but since they don’t rely solely on the company to process transactions, they didn’t experience the same downtime as small businesses with only one payments platform.
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