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Who Owns Venmo?

who owns venmo

Venmo is an American mobile payment app used by consumers and businesses all over the world. In many ways, Venmo is like Google Pay and Cash App but has become far more popular than any of its early competitors.

Two years ago, Venmo processed around $230 billion in payments and registered nearly $850 million in revenue, an increase of almost 90% from the previous year. Then last year, the payment volume increased by 6% to $244 billion, while revenue grew by 10% to almost $940 million. 

Venmo has about 78 million users, and most of these users are based in the United States. 

But who owns Venmo?

The company was founded in 2009 by Andrew Kortina and Iqram Magdon-Ismail, who became friends as freshman roommates at the University of Pennsylvania. They developed the app after realizing how frustrating and inefficient point-of-sales software was at the time. 

Since its birth, Venmo has grown tremendously and has been bought and sold a few times. So, in this article, I’ll be tracing the company’s history and ownership up until the current day. 

Founders and Initial Owners of Venmo

As mentioned, Venmo was created by University roommates Kortina and Magdon-Ismail. The pair were helping a friend of theirs to get her yogurt business up and running when they became frustrated with how tiresome point-of-sale software was at the time. This led to the spark that would eventually lead to the creation and development of Venmo. 

Founders and Initial Owners of Venmo

Andrew Kortina 

Andrew was born in Philadelphia in 1984 and studied at The University of Pennsylvania. He finished his university education in 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He was employed as a software developer at various places before co-founding Venmo in 2009

Iqram Magdon-Ismail

Iqram was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, but spent some of his youth in Zambia and Uganda before his family immigrated to Fairfax County, Virginia. The family later moved to Pennsylvania, where Iqran attended high school and, eventually, university. He graduated in 2005 with a degree in Computer Science.  

Before founding Venmo, Iqram worked as Vice president of Technology for the online ticket sales platform Ticketleap. After Venmo, he founded the audio-sharing company Ense Inc and is still the CEO. 

Initial Funding for Venmo

In addition to its founders, Venmo originally got its capital from numerous angel investors and venture capital firms. Some of the early investors in Venmo included:

  • Founders Fund
  • IA Ventures
  • Dave Morin (Angel Investor)
  • Zach Kilen (Angel Investor)
  • Betaworks
  • Lerer Hippeau

Initial Funding for Venmo

Lerer Hippeau

This New York based venture capital company was one of the earliest and most significant investors in Venmo. Lerer Hippeau is well known for its focus on startups, especially in the tech industry, and has helped numerous companies and platforms get their start. 


As mentioned, before he co-founded Vemo with Iqram, Andrew Kortina worked at numerous firms as a developer. One of these firms was BetaWorks, where, amongst other things, Kortina served as a software engineer for the popular URL shortener bit.ly. 

Thanks to the early investment from Betaworks and others, Venmo was able to quickly establish itself within the U.S. market and seriously compete with other electronic payment services. The company quickly gained popularity and, with further development, became hugely successful. This success and growth would eventually attract the attention of bigger investors, which brings us to the company’s first change of ownership.

2012 – Acquisition by Braintree

Braintree is a payment service provider based in Chicago, Illinois. The company was founded in 2007 by Bryan Johnson. Braintree’s primary focus is on mobile and web-based payment systems for businesses in the e-commerce sector. 

It was one of the fastest-growing tech companies in the early 2010s. And cemented its hunger for expansion in 2012 when it bought Venmo for a reported $26.2 million

How did this come about?

The merger worked because each company offered something that the other one was lacking. Venmo had an appealing interface and user-friendliness, while Braintree could provide the network infrastructure and capital Venmo needed to expand. 

So, Venmo technically became a subsidiary of Braintree under this merger. But the two companies still operated as separate entities. That being said, there was still a lot of integration taking place between the two platforms. 

Moreover, the merger of Braintree and Venmo brought about much more than mere growth for the two brands. It was the beginning of a shift in how finance and payment processing was viewed the world over.

Despite subsequent sales and mergers occurring, both Venmo and Braintree remain leaders in their respective fields. 

2013 – Paypal’s Acquisition of Venmo

PayPal was already one of the biggest online payment platforms in the world by the time Braintree and Venmo came around. But within a short period of time, both had become big enough to get PayPal’s attention. PayPal’s 2013 acquisition of Braintree, and therefore Venmo, set them back $800 million

Paypal’s Acquisition of Venmo

The merger allowed PayPal to expand its capabilities quite a bit by integrating the Venmo platform into its own. This brought a lot of younger users, the millennials & Gen-Zers to be exact, into their client base. Something the company had previously lacked. 

The strategy?

PayPal didn’t do a major rebranding of Venmo. The company’s branding, website, and app remained the same. Instead, the Venmo brand was integrated into PayPal’s ecosystem, which expanded the capabilities of users. 

Users of either platform now had the option of receiving and sending money via Venmo and PayPal. Along with this came the ability to withdraw money directly to bank accounts as well as debit cards, which allow for instant access to funds. 

PayPal also put its years of expertise gained from operating primarily in the business world into the further development of Venmo. With the backing of the world’s biggest online payment company, Venmo began operating on a global stage. Furthermore, Venmo’s client base expanded to include business owners who use it to make international payments. 

Venmo Ownership and Decision Making

PayPal is a publicly traded company which means that its major shareholders are also responsible for the decisions regarding the operation of Venmo. These shareholders include mutual funds, investment firms, and institutional investors like BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street Corporation

Already a Venmo User?

If so, we have a couple more recent articles that could be of interest to you, including What Stores accept Venmo pay in-storeDoes Walmart Accept Venmo, Where Can You Cash A Personal Check Besides Banks, and How And Where To Cash A Check Without ID

And did you know you can transfer to Netspend cards from Venmo?

Find out more about what you can do with your Netspend card, such as the NetSpend Withdrawal at Walmart and Can You Withdraw Money from Netspend for Free? Or why not explore other electronic finance options in Does Dollar General Load Cash App, Netspend, Green Dot, and Chime Cards, and How To Withdraw From ATM Using Cash App and Who Owns Cash App in 2023?

Ok, back to…

Final Thoughts

Since being created by two college friends in 2009, Venmo has changed hands twice. First in 2012, when Braintree bought the company for around $26 million, and then in 2013, when Braintree was bought by PayPal.

The acquisition has proven successful. Both PayPal and Venmo have expanded their capabilities and client base. Their profits have soared, and new users are joining on a daily basis. Moreover, thanks to the social platform provided by Venmo, its users have been able to play an active role in its development by giving feedback.

Some analysts think that Venmo is responsible for getting commercial users to trust electronic finance. But whether true or not, the company continues to improve and innovate. Allowing it and its parent company PayPal to maintain a competitive edge in an ever-changing business environment. The future of electronic finance looks bright indeed.

Happy transacting!

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About Wendy Young

Wendy runs an employment agency with her husband, Ian, in Rochester, New York.

She loves nothing more than hosting a good dinner party and spends weeks intricately planning her next 'event.' She often uses these to introduce clients to potential employers in a relaxed, informal fashion. The food must be delicious, the cocktails and wine must be a perfect match, and the decor needs to impress without being over the top. With all that going on, it's amazing that she gets any time to write about her thoughts on securing the dream job.

They live on the outskirts of New York with their poodle, Princess.

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