Slideshow In Pictures: How PayPal Outgrew eBay

  • October 02 2014, 11:01pm EDT
11 Images Total

EBay and PayPal were once rivals, but in 2002 they joined to become a single company. Since then, PayPal has worked to move beyond the confines of its parent's online auction site. It is now well prepared for its planned spinoff. (Image: Bloomberg News)

In the Beginning:

PayPal has its roots as an Internet bank called This business model was short-lived, and in 2000 the company shifted gears to focus on handling payments for eBay, where it was already listed as the preferred payment provider for 50% of auctions. (Image: Shutterstock)

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Joining Forces

EBay had its own online payment system called Billpoint, which it developed with Wells Fargo. But auction sellers preferred the PayPal system, and eBay eventually conceded, agreeing to buy PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion. (Image: Thinkstock)

Fixer Upper

EBay's first decision after buying PayPal was to shutter the payment startup's online gambling business, forgoing the significant revenue this operation brought in. "It is very clear to us that by working together, PayPal and eBay can help the other expand," PayPal's then-CEO Peter Thiel (pictured) said at the time. (Image: Bloomberg News)


PayPal's early success hinged on its approach to risk management. One paricular fraudster, named "Igor," regularly challenged PayPal in its early days. In honor of this foe, PayPal named its transaction-monitoring program "Igor" and has used similar names for later anti-fraud technology. (Image: Thinkstock)

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Going Big

By 2004, PayPal was eager to serve the kinds of merchants that didn't need eBay. It started pursuing the business of large e-commerce sellers such as Apple, Hotwire and Dell. In later years it would add more big merchants, including Hewlett-Packard, Barnes & Noble and (Image: Bloomberg News)

New Rivals

A new generation of competitors quickly emerged for PayPal. Among these was Bill Me Later — which PayPal eventually bought — and Square (pictured), which prompted PayPal to start offering its own PayPal Here mobile card reader. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Presidential Personalities

PayPal's presidents have come from many backgrounds. Its last leader, David Marcus, worked to bring a startup culture to the eBay unit. The newest president, Dan Schulman (pictured), has a background at bigger companies such as American Express.

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Discovering New Territory

PayPal, now a staple on the checkout pages of larger merchants, wants to be a common payment method at the physical point of sale. Though it established several one-on-one deals with major retailers, it needed a pact with Discover to reach a bigger scale. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Braintree and Venmo

One of PayPal's most significant acquisitions in recent years was its $800 million purchase of Braintree, which had been winning the business of developers at prominent startups. Braintree also owns Venmo, a popular provider of mobile commerce and P2P payments. (Image: Bloomberg News)

'New' PayPal

In 2015, if all goes according to plan, PayPal will have just an "arm's length" relationship with eBay. PayPal's independence will make it a more palatable partner for the other giants of e-commerce. (Image: Bloomberg News)