PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American company operating an online payments system in the majority of countries that support online money transfers, and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods such as checks and money orders. The company operates as a payment processor for online vendors, auction sites, and many other commercial users, for which it charges a fee.
PayPal was originally established by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, and Luke Nosek in December 1998 as Confinity, a company that developed security software for handheld devices. It had no success with that business model, however, so switched its focus to a digital wallet. The first version of the PayPal electronic payments system was launched in 1999.
Established in 1998 as Confinity, PayPal went public through an initial public offering in 2002. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay later that year, valued at 2.5 billion. In 2015, eBay spun off PayPal to eBay's shareholders and PayPal became an independent company again. The company was ranked 204th on the 2019 Fortune 500 of the largest United States corporations by revenue.
The fiscal year for Paypal is from January 1 to December 31. For fiscal year 2019, Paypal reported earnings of US$2.459 billion, with an annual revenue of $17.772 billion, an increase of 15% over the previous fiscal cycle. PayPal's shares traded at over $108 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over $127.58 billion in December 2019.
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