\Fintech News/

Payments startup Checkout.com hits $5.5bn valuation

The payments processor has tripled its valuation from its last raise. It is now the joint most-highly valued fintech in Europe.

By Isabel Woodford

London-based payments startup Checkout.com has tripled its valuation and become Europe’s joint most-highest valued fintech, after closing its Series B funding round.

The company brought in $150m in funding from investors at a $5.5bn valuation, buoyed by a strong boom in demand amid lockdown. The company says its transaction volumes in May were up by 250% year-on-year, with small businesses rapidly moving online.

Founded in 2012, Checkout.com made headlines last year after a record $230m Series A round — the largest of its kind in Europe. Checkout.com helps thousands of merchants like Deliveroo process their online payments, connecting them with main card providers like Visa or Mastercard — claiming to be the fastest provider in over 150 currencies.

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The latest show of investor support will help Checkout.com take advantage of the current e-commerce boom and continue to rival Adyen — its Dutch competitor which went public in 2018 and has since seen its shares soar in value.

“We’re the next Adyen,” Checkout.com chief executive Guillaume Pousaz told the Financial Times in 2018.

The Series B funding was led by US hedge-fund Coatue, along with participation from existing investors, including Insight Partners, DST Global, Blossom Capital and Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund GIC.

Checkout.com was bootstrapped for its first seven years by Pousaz, who is Swiss but is based in the UAE.

Europe’s top fintechs

The latest raise puts Checkout.com on par with fintech peers Revolut and Klarna in terms of valuation.

Checkout.com joins a small handful of fintechs, including Klarna, which have enjoyed several years of profitability.

Checkout.com posted $2.3m in global profits in 2018, building on revenues of $74.8m. This was a 60% jump in revenue from the previous year — a trend its chief executive says he plans to continue for several more years.

Klarna posted profits of $10m and $561m in revenue in 2018.

Meanwhile, Revolut posted heavy losses on revenues of £58.2m.

Business-to-business payment infrastructure companies like Checkout.com aren’t usually headline-grabbers. Yet this breed of fintech continues to be a key driver of investor returns according to sale figures.

Last year, Sifted reported that fintech exits have raked in a reported €83bn since 2013. But a closer look showed that payment-processor exits had raked in over half of that total – pulling in €55.6bn since 2013. Meanwhile,  exits from non-payment fintechs added up to a slightly less impressive €27.4bn.

There is a logic here; the payments sector has received the most funding of all fintech, naturally boosting its growth and sale prospects. It’s also one of the oldest sub-groups, giving it a maturity advantage.

This also ties in with a broader theory about fintech in Europe: the more boring it sounds, the bigger the opportunity there is for making money.

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