Tuesday, December 27, 2022

From Tech Titan To Property Baron – “Billionaire you’ve never heard of” 32-Year-Old Stripe Co-Founder John Collison Splashes Out £15.8m On Irish Properties

Billionaire co-owner of payment processing tech giant Stripe, 32-year-old Irishman John Collison, adds to his 1,200-acre £10.1 million Irish estate and plans to spend another £5.3 million restoring a £350,000 adjoining derelict mansion

Harvard University educated John Collison born in August 1990, astoundingly has acquired himself an estimated worth of £9.6 billion according to the 2022 Bloomberg Billionaires Index in spite of only having only been in business since 2007.


A co-founder with his brother Patrick of Stripe, an Irish-American payment processing application based in San Francisco and Dublin, this 32-year-old is now said to be the 187th richest person in the world. Having acquired such a fortune, this young man now has the ability to acquire the ‘toys’ and ‘treasures’ the very, very, very wealthy so often acquire and aside from recently bidding for Weston Airport near Dublin, he clearly intends to more than just dabble in real estate assets also.


A pilot and a pianist who gained the backing of amongt others Elon Musk and Peter Thiel in 2010, here is a man who along with his brother became the world’s youngest self-made billionaires in 2016 and in June 2021, he splashed out on the 1,120-acre James Wyatt designed Abbeyleix estate in June 2021.


Featured in The Steeple Times in June 2020 when offered for sale for £17.8 million, Collison paid the knockdown price of just £10.1 million to Sir David Davies, a Welsh born “superstar banker and businessman” noted for describing Theresa May as “inept” and Boris Johnson as “doesn’t do his homework, and can’t be trusted.”


Late last month, the tech titan got himself another ‘bargain’ when he beat off competition from 170 other interested parties and snapped up the adjoining 9,004 square foot Millbrook House – which had formerly formed part of his Abbeyleix estate – for just £351,000 against an asking price of £132,000. The snag? He’s going to have to spend £5.3 million restoring the Victorian pile to its former glory.


They say westerners have “first world problems,” but for this very, very, very, very wealthy tricenarian it seems these ‘trifling’ sums won’t represent any kind of “billionaire world problem” even.


Pictured Top – Abbeyleix House (top left), Millnbrook House (bottom left) and John Collison.


John and Patrick Collison
Irish citizen John Collison, pictured (left) with his brother Patrick, is said to be worth the staggering sum of £9.6 billion ($11.4 billion, €11 billion or درهم41.7 billion) in spite of being just 32-years-old.
Sir David Davies
He purchased the 1,200-acre Abbeyleix estate from Sir David Davies (pictured in the drawing room of his now former home) in June 2021 for a sum £7.7 million lower than its asking price.

The Names & Numbers – Millbrook House (also known as ‘Millbrook Hall’), Oldtown, Abbeyleix, Leinster, County Laois, Ireland

Millbrook House
Aerial 2
Aerial 1
Prior to dereliction

October 2022 – Sold to John Collison through his Jersey based Comhlacht na Feirme company for circa £351,000 ($415,000, €400,000 or درهم1.5 million) after being put up for sale through Power Property for offers in excess of £132,000 ($156,000, €150,000 or درهم571,000) by Laois County Council. 170 people had registered interest in the property by a deadline set of August 2022 and Fianna Fáil councillor John Joe Fennelly eventually proposed the sale of the building to Comhlacht na Feirme Ltd.


Accompanying his bid for the property and its 4.2-acre plot, Mr Collison announced that he planned to spend £5.3 million ($6.2 million, €6 million or درهم22.8 million) restoring Millbrook House and added:


“We are already investing at the Abbeyleix Estate with a mindset of being stewards of this property for the coming generations. The Abbeyleix Estate is a keystone piece of Laois history and deserves careful guardianship.”


“We would be delighted to extend this approach to Millbrook House and we hope our offer is of interest.”


2021 – Bough by compulsory purchase by Laois County Council from the then owner John Patrick Colclough. Of this, The Irish Times later reported: “[The council had] intention to flip it on to a buyer with deep pockets who would save it from complete ruin.”


1885 – Built as a residence for a steward on the de Vesci Estate. The Victorian building provides accommodation over 4 floors and extends to some 9,004 square foot and also includes a coach house, gardens and mill pond.


The Names & Numbers – Abbeyleigh (also known as ‘Abbeyleix House,’ ‘Abbeyleix Castle’ and the ‘De Vesci Estate’), Abbeyleix, Leinster, County Laois, Ireland

Aerial AH

June 2021 – Sold to John Collison for £10.1 million ($11.9 million, €11.5 million or درهم43.8 million), a sum 43% lower than the original asking price.


June 2020 – For sale for £17.8 million ($21 million, €20.3 million or درهم77.2 million) through agents Sotheby’s International Realty on behalf of Sir David.


At the time of the 26,910 square foot property, the Welsh born businessman commented: “I’m organising my whole estate for the benefit of my children… Although the children all love this place very much, none of them wanted to take it on… The typical refrain is ‘Dad, this is your project,’ and I’m lucky enough to have Killoughter House [another property he owns], the home of my childhood, to return to.”


1995 – Sold to Sir David Davies by the de Vesci family – who had owned the estate for circa 250 years.


Editor’s Note – Unlike as is the case in many publications, this article was NOT sponsored or supported by a third-party.


Matthew Steeples
Matthew Steeples
A graduate of the London School of Economics, Matthew Steeples is a writer and marketing consultant. He conceived The Steeple Times as a media arena to fill the void between the Mail Online, The Huffington Post and such organs as the New York Social Diary in 2012.


  1. Ill be honest it must be a slow news day,those brothers are pretty well know,not just in Ireland but worldwide,i like your stuff matthew but this is just fluff

    • I had never heard of them and nor had most of those who’ve I spoken to. I do know a lot of tech people from San Francisco – having spent many months there at a time in the 2000s onwards – but these two never came on my register.

      The article was more an update on the Abbeyleix estate and we’ve had a very positive response on Twitter and elsewhere.


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