Nov 11, 2020

Central Bank of Ireland grants SumUp an e-money license

Central Bank of Ireland
SumUp
digital payments
e-wallet
William Girling
2 min
The Central Bank of Ireland, the country’s financial services regulator, has granted SumUp a license to issue e-wallets in Ireland and across Europe
The Central Bank of Ireland, the country’s financial services regulator, has granted SumUp a license to issue e-wallets in Ireland and across Europe...

The Central Bank of Ireland, the country’s financial services regulator, has granted SumUp a license to issue e-wallets in Ireland and across Europe.

Founded in 2012, SumUp is a UK-based global payments service provider and a leading mobile point of sale (mPOS) company in the European market. However, its reach extends to 31 countries around the world, including the US and Brazil.

Backed by high-profile investors such as American Express and Groupon, the company’s trailblazing EMV (Europay, Mastercard and Visa) mPOS system has proven to be an asset to thousands of global clients. SumUp also develops its own hardware, mobile apps, APIs and SDKs.

Helping businesses navigate COVID-19

With its newly acquired e-money license, the company hopes to assist Irish SMBs (small-medium businesses) that are struggling under the operational restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This assistance is needed now more than ever following the announcement in late October that the country is undergoing a second lockdown.

“Small businesses are the cornerstone of a healthy economy. Securing our licence during this critical time means that we can continue to empower those small businesses and help them succeed despite the challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic,” said Gareth Walsh, CEO Ireland at SumUp.

“Our core products allow our users to take remote and contactless card payments during lockdown situations, and so in a very real way, this licence will ensure Ireland’s entrepreneurs can keep trading and keep recovering.”

Fintech: leading the charge for recovery

The general recognition of SMBs’ importance to the world economy and the finance sector’s efforts to support them have represented an important shift in consciousness following the pandemic.

Moreover, fintech is demonstrating both its capacity and capability for finding solutions to imposing challenges that, perhaps, more traditional financial service providers cannot. Justin Knowles, Director of Digital and Payments at CitiBank, suggests that further collaboration between the two will be imperative in the long-term:

“I believe this pandemic has created an urgency for all financial services. I see two large factors that will play a part in the success or failure of anyone in this market. 1) Current employees’ ability to be agile - to work quickly and to adjust and modify the existing strategic plan. 2) Partnerships with fintech partners out there will also be key.” 

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Jun 22, 2021

Payment startup Mollie raises US$800m at a $6.5bn valuation

Fintech
Mollie
Valuation
Payments
3 min
A new funding round values Mollie at US$6.5bn making Mollie the third most valuable privately-held European fintech behind Klarna and Checkout.com

Mollie, one of the fastest-growing payment processors within Europe, today announced it has raised US$800m in a Series C funding round, now valuing the company at $6.5bn. The valuation, based on Dealroom data, makes Mollie the third most valuable privately-held European fintech behind Klarna and Checkout.com.

Blackstone Growth (BXG), Blackstone’s growth equity investing business, led the investment and included participation from EQT Growth, General Atlantic, HMI Capital and Alkeon Capital. TCV who led the Series B investment in September 2020 also participated in the funding round. 

According to the company, the funding will fuel Mollie’s international expansion, team scaling, and continued investment in product and engineering.

“There’s something very special about Mollie. In the three months since I joined the team we’ve achieved so much: making preparations for a full launch in the UK, driving 600% growth in Germany and hiring an impressive set of team members and executives,” said Shane Happach, CEO, Mollie. “Over the past months, Mollie has been receiving a remarkable amount of interest from some of the world’s foremost fintech investors. In bringing on BXG, we believe we have an investor who can help Mollie in our next phase of growth. The involvement of our new group of investors demonstrates confidence in Mollie’s growth, strategy and product set.”

The Amsterdam-based business was launched in 2004, and is one of the largest PSPs in Europe. Today, it serves more than 120,000 monthly active merchants of all sizes across the continent. During 2020, Mollie processed more than 10 billion Euros in transactions and is on track to handle more than 20 billion Euros during 2021. 

“Mollie is one of Europe’s most exciting high-growth businesses and is at the forefront of enabling next-generation payments for online SMEs across Europe. We are excited to partner with Mollie’s fantastic team and look forward to leveraging Blackstone’s capital, expertise and global network to unlock the company’s next phase of growth,” said Paul Morrissey, who leads European investing for Blackstone Growth. “This investment underlines Blackstone’s confidence in Europe as a place for high-growth companies to thrive.”

Competition 

In Europe, FinTech app usage grew by 72% directly after the pandemic outbreak, while the top seven digital banks in the US grew their cumulative user base by 39% throughout the year. Competition in payments has grown over the past few years with fintech players like Stripe, Square and Netherlands-based Adyen all competing for a bigger share of the market.

Unlike its American rivals, Mollie says it mainly focuses on transactions with small businesses in Europe. Shane Happach, CEO of Mollie said: “A lot of the bigger players in online payments come out of the US, like PayPal,”. Adding that even Visa and Mastercard are US companies.

“A lot of investors don’t have a bet on Europe,” Happach said. “Mollie’s one of those unique assets that offers exposure.

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