The post-COVID shakeup of Silicon Valley and beyond has impacted every startup in the digital marketplace. And for now, it seems that Stripe ($STRIPE) is coming out on top, in the US at least. According to a BusinessWorld report, Stripe is now the most highly-valued startup in the US, only outpaced by a pair of Chinese disruptors. 

There are plenty of leading startups still worth a fortune; take Airbnb, for example, very much a unicorn, just one with a shrinking headcount and shrinking social media audience as more Americans come to grips with the fact that their 2020 won't involve going too far away from home. But because Stripe is among a class of mobile payment companies able to access a broader user network - and clearly doing so - its valuation is soaring, as other Silicon Valley stalwarts see theirs do just the opposite. 

First, Stripe grew right through the pandemic and continued growing. According to our tracking of Stripe's LinkedIn Headcount, staffing has risen 15% in 2020. 

However, while Stripe was staffing up and adding hundreds of new workers, its job postings tally declined more than 20% year-over-year. Some of this could simply be a byproduct of Stripe doing more to bring people into the company, than to advertise jobs, however. 

And, now, Stripe is rolling out a card issuing product, which will further deepen ties with new consumers. 

Perhaps best of all for Stripe, social media engagement picked up during the pandemic, and so far this year, its Twitter follower count has risen 8%. 

As a rising number of Coronavirus cases are threatening the reopenings of numerous major metropolitan areas and US states, one has to wonder if the time to go cashless is 2020 - because consumers may never come back. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.