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Payments startup Stripe launches in Australia, tests in three other countries

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Stripe launched in Australia and began testing in three Scandinavian countries on Monday, as the three-year-old payments startup backed by a trio of PayPal co-founders slowly enlarges its global footprint.

Its latest international expansion came after it struck a rare deal with Chinese payments service Alipay, an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Inc, to allow Chinese buyers to pay for purchases on the U.S. service.

"Stripe’s mission is to grow Internet commerce by providing everything an online business needs to accept payments," John Collison, co-founder and president of Stripe, said in a blogpost on Monday.

Stripe now operates in several countries including Canada, Britain and Ireland, and is beta-testing in European countries such as Finland and Switzerland. It began beta-testing on Monday in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, a company spokeswoman said.

Stripe touts a simple-to-use multi-currency service as an easy way for businesses to begin accepting payments from around the world. It takes a cut of several percentage points off transactions across its platform.

The company has raised $130 million from investors. It was valued at $1.75 billion in a January round of funding from venture capitalists, including Khosla Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Founders Fund. Other backers include Andreessen Horowitz and PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel, Max Levchin and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.

The transaction puts Stripe in the rarefied company of startups valued at more than $1 billion just three years after brothers Patrick and John Collison debuted their service.

Its clients have included ridesharing service Lyft and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

(Reporting by San Francisco newsroom; Editing by Ken Wills)

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