PayPal Holdings, Inc. is an American company operating a worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like checks and money orders. PayPal is one of the world’s largest Internet payment companies. The company operates as a payment processor for online vendors, auction sites and other commercial users, for which it charges a fee.
PayPal was established in December 1998 as Confinity, a company that developed security software for handheld devices founded by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek and Ken Howery, PayPal was developed and launched as a money transfer service at Confinity in 1999, funded by John Malloy from BlueRun Ventures.
In March 2000, Confinity merged with X.com, an online banking company founded by Elon Musk. Musk was optimistic about the future success of the money transfer business Confinity was developing. Musk and then-president and CEO of X.com, Bill Harris, disagreed on this point and Harris left the company in May 2000. In October of that year, Musk made the decision that X.com would terminate its other Internet banking operations and focus on the PayPal money service. The X.com company was then renamed PayPal in 2001, and expanded rapidly throughout the year until company executives decided to take PayPal public in 2002. Paypal’s IPO listed under the ticker PYPL at $13 per share and ended up generating over $61 million.