January 11, 2023

Delving into’s latest financial filing

The company says it’s profitable, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at its UK entity

Amy O'Brien

4 min read

Guillaume Pousaz, CEO of

Going by externally assigned valuations, payments unicorn is Europe’s most valuable startup at $40bn. Despite revising its internal valuation down to $11bn recently, it still ranks among the world’s biggest private tech companies.

That said, there's little public information about the company’s financials. CEO and founder Guillaume Pousaz has repeatedly said the company is profitable. But owing to its private company status and countless entities scattered across the globe, verifying this is a difficult task.

So when it quietly met its UK company filings obligations this week, we took note. 

Checkout tells Sifted that these results aren’t representative of the entire company, only its UK entity. But in terms of revenues, it’s not that black and white — which we’ll get into below.


So here are the details that matter from its latest financial update.

1. Checkout’s UK entity is loss-making, not profitable, and revenue only grew marginally

Checkout Ltd, the company’s UK entity, posted a pre-tax loss of $13.4m in the 12 months to December 31, 2021. Losses dropped 65% from 2020, when they spiked at $38.2m. In 2019, they stood at $9.6m.

A massive uptick in hiring, and thus wages and salary payments, accounted for the lion’s share of losses. Checkout almost doubled its wage payments in 2021, to $83m from $43m in 2020.

Revenues crept up marginally, by just 2.7%, from $252.7m in 2020 to $259.6m in 2021. This represents a huge slowdown from the year before, when revenues increased by 73% in 2020, from $146.4m in 2019. 

Why is this significant? secured a massive $1bn funding round in January last year from top investors including Insight Partners, Tiger Global and the Qatar Investment Authority. They assigned it an eye-watering $40bn valuation at the time, and were likely enticed by its crypto performance.

Sources recently told the FT that in 2021, Checkout’s biggest revenue-generating merchant was Binance, and was another top client. That coincides with crypto’s post-pandemic heyday.

In November 2021, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum that the exchange was recording daily transaction volumes of $170bn. So it’s easy to see how the payments processor behind such volumes, Checkout, must have reaped some hefty returns.

The modest revenue growth in the 2021 UK results suggests Checkout’s crypto revenues weren’t logged through its UK business. With crypto stripped away, they’re more indicative of underlying business performance from fiat transactions.

Checkout declined to comment on its crypto revenues.

It’s worth bearing in mind that Checkout’s UK results don’t just incorporate UK-based transactions. A payment made by a cardholder anywhere in the world to a UK-based merchant will have its transaction disclosed under Checkout’s UK entity. The company filing also indicates that transaction volumes from its Portuguese and Spanish branches are disclosed under the UK entity, too.

After the collapse of crypto exchange FTX and a massive rout in the crypto market, Pousaz was open about how the crypto side of Checkout’s business had taken a hit in 2022.

“This year is not as good as last on the crypto side of things, but that’s just a small part of our business,” Pousaz said at a tech conference in November.


2. Checkout almost doubled its headcount in the UK — and the average salary increased

Checkout’s UK entity almost doubled its headcount in 2021 to 732, up from 424 in 2020. This represents consistent growth in its biggest geography by headcount — in 2019, it stood at 227 employees, around half of the 2020 figure.

According to Dealroom’s log of LinkedIn data, Checkout had 1,460 employees in December 2021, which means the UK accounted for roughly 50% of global headcount.

Checkout has 21 offices globally, including in the US, Germany and Singapore.

Dividing the increased wages and salaries figure (minus highest-paid director) by the increased headcount gives us an average salary at Checkout’s UK entity of £84.6k in 2021 — a 12.4% increase on 2020, when it stood at £75.3k.

But that’s a pretty high salary for a UK tech worker. For context, the average salary at UK fintech is around £60k, according to

This could be down to two things. Tech roles comprise more than half (55%) of Checkout UK’s headcount, according to the filings, which typically command higher salaries. This headline figure is also likely skewed by some pretty hefty senior management salaries. Recent employee reviews on Glassdoor suggest the median salary could be much lower.

Which brings us to …

3. Checkout’s highest-paid director took an 82% pay cut

Checkout’s UK results also tell us that the highest-paid director in the region took a pretty hefty pay cut.

In 2021, they were paid $769k — still a healthy paycheque but a far cry from the $4.2m remuneration the highest-paid director received in 2020.

Sifted understands that this director is not Pousaz, and it may also not represent the same person across both years.

Checkout declined to comment on individual director pay.

Amy O’Brien is Sifted’s fintech reporter. She writes Sifted’s fintech newsletter and tweets from @Amy_EOBrien.

Amy O'Brien

Amy O'Brien is a reporter at Sifted. She covers fintech and writes our weekly fintech newsletter . Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn