Fintech
Q1 202414.03.2024

Payments

Picture of Éanna Kelly

Éanna Kelly

at Sifted

Europe has a well-stocked stable of payments companies nonetheless. Dutch payment processor and IPO poster child Adyen has a market cap of €50bn+ as well as an extensive mafia of its own and UK-based Wise and Sweden’s Klarna recorded blowout profit performances in 2023. All of these companies ballooned during the pandemic but when tech’s bubble burst in 2022, some players landed back to earth with a rather loud thud. Klarna, for example, was valued at $46bn in June 2021; by 2022, this valuation had plummeted to $6.7bn. The 2022 downturn also sent several major crypto companies into bankruptcy and tainted the industry’s reputation.

Revenue growth at payments firms continues to suffer with inflation forcing consumers to spend less. VCs say it's not enough to be a buzzy fintech anymore — these days investors are looking for concrete evidence of traction and revenue. Bets on the sector are more sparing: 2023 saw VCs cough up $2bn for Europe’s payments startups, down from $6.8bn in 2022 and $9.9bn in 2021, according to Dealroom data.

Yet VCs liked the numbers they saw for a handful of startups, including UK payments startup SumUp, known for its small card readers, which raised €285m. Other big 2023 payments rounds include an $80m Series B for London-based mobile-first payments company TerraPay and a $60m Series B for the UK’s online payments player Volt.

After a year that saw most startups assailed by worries about growth and margins, will life get any easier for payments firms in 2024? Like other parts of the tech economy, the sector has startups that find themselves in need of an exit plan. Industry watchers say consolidation deals are likely this year.

20 most promising early-stage startups

  • Sunday logo

    Sifted score

    9.11
    -

    Sunday

    Efficient QR-based restaurant payment solution

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Serial founder(s)
    • Hiring
    • Year founded

      2021

    • HQ

      Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France

    • Latest round

      Series A
      90.9m / Sep 2021

    • Total funding

      112.7m

  • Atoa logo

    Sifted score

    8.24
    -

    Atoa

    Atoa allows UK consumers to pay businesses using their Bank App. Payments are up to 70% cheaper than debit cards and settlement is instant.

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Serial founder(s)
    • Hiring
    • Year founded

      2022

    • HQ

      London, United Kingdom

    • Latest round

      Seed
      6m / Jun 2023

    • Total funding

      8.1m

  • Vyne logo

    Sifted score

    8.18
    -

    Vyne

    Efficient account-to-account payment processing

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Year founded

      2019

    • HQ

      London, United Kingdom

    • Latest round

      Seed
      14.1m / Sep 2021

    • Total funding

      17.7m

  • Yabie logo

    Sifted score

    8.18
    -

    Yabie

    Streamlined sales operations and payments.

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Serial founder(s)
    • Hiring
    • Year founded

      2017

    • HQ

      Stockholm, Sweden

    • Latest round

      Series A
      15m / Jun 2022

    • Total funding

      50m

  • BVNK logo

    Sifted score

    8.05
    -

    BVNK

    Efficient global fund transfer solution.

    • Strong investor(s)
    • Hiring
    • Year founded

      2021

    • HQ

      London, United Kingdom

    • Latest round

      Series A
      36.4m / May 2022

    • Total funding

      36.4m

Related Briefings

Related articles

Robots are rising in Europe
RoboticsAnalysis

April 22, 2024

Robots are rising in Europe

Why robotics startups are taking off in Europe — and raising lots of money from VCs

By Anne Sraders
Luko alumni raise €25m from Balderton and Ribbit Capital as B2B fintech reigns

April 22, 2024

Luko alumni raise €25m from Balderton and Ribbit Capital as B2B fintech reigns

By Tom Matsuda
How Sweden is failing its spacetechs
DeeptechAnalysis

April 22, 2024

How Sweden is failing its spacetechs

An illustration of the earth from Space.
By Mimi Billing
Sophia Bendz on angel investing, why we need quotas and what she learnt from Daniel Ek

April 22, 2024

Sophia Bendz on angel investing, why we need quotas and what she learnt from Daniel Ek

Picture of Sophia Bendz, partner at Cherry Ventures
By Amy Lewin
Healthcare platform Doctolib has conquered France — but can it take on Europe?
HealthtechAnalysis

April 22, 2024

Healthcare platform Doctolib has conquered France — but can it take on Europe?

A photo of a man wearing a hoodie with the Doctolib logo
By Daphné Leprince-Ringuet
Latvia's startup financing gets creative

April 19, 2024

Latvia's startup financing gets creative

Latvia is behind its Baltic neighbours when it comes to startup development and funding — but things are starting to happen

By Zosia Wanat
Female founder funding: Will it ever change?
Startup LifeAnalysis

April 19, 2024

Female founder funding: Will it ever change?

Venture funding for all-female-founded teams has stagnated — so what next?

By Amy Lewin
Inside the AI ‘revolution’ powering Europe’s autonomous vehicle startups
DeeptechAnalysis

April 19, 2024

Inside the AI ‘revolution’ powering Europe’s autonomous vehicle startups

By Kai Nicol-Schwarz
Why VCs and founders should set their sights on the Gulf region

April 19, 2024

Why VCs and founders should set their sights on the Gulf region

Photo of Priya Oberoi, founding general partner, Goddess Gaia Ventures
By Priya Oberoi
This new early-stage VC is making founder mental health a priority

April 19, 2024

This new early-stage VC is making founder mental health a priority

Photo of Yonca Braeckman, cofounder and CEO at Impact Shakers.
By Amy Lewin
Stability AI announces layoffs following CEO departure, say sources

April 18, 2024

Stability AI announces layoffs following CEO departure, say sources

An image of Stability AI's Emad Mostaque
By Tim Smith
Is a government body really France’s ‘top incubator’?

April 18, 2024

Is a government body really France’s ‘top incubator’?

Government body France Travail offers financial backing for job seekers who start a company

By Daphné Leprince-Ringuet
Climate tech 2.0 will be built on debt
Climate TechAnalysis

April 18, 2024

Climate tech 2.0 will be built on debt

An illustration of trees infused with technological elements.
By Freya Pratty
Private investment bank Lazard set to partner with French VC Elaia to launch a European growth fund

April 18, 2024

Private investment bank Lazard set to partner with French VC Elaia to launch a European growth fund

By Daphné Leprince-Ringuet
The Doctolib founders factory: Meet 16 employees-turned-founders
HealthtechAnalysis

April 18, 2024

The Doctolib founders factory: Meet 16 employees-turned-founders

By Kai Nicol-Schwarz
Entrepreneur First hosts first demo day in San Francisco after US move

April 17, 2024

Entrepreneur First hosts first demo day in San Francisco after US move

By Amy Lewin
Space startup ICEYE raises €94m in growth equity

April 17, 2024

Space startup ICEYE raises €94m in growth equity

The Finnish startup is the first company to have launched a SAR microsatellite in space

By Mimi Billing
EIT Urban Mobility invested in more than 100 startups in 1,000 days. Here are its top picks to watch
Climate TechAnalysis

April 17, 2024

EIT Urban Mobility invested in more than 100 startups in 1,000 days. Here are its top picks to watch

Sponsored by EIT Urban Mobility
‘Different isn’t wrong’: Neurodiverse founders share their experiences of running a startup
Startup LifeAnalysis

April 17, 2024

‘Different isn’t wrong’: Neurodiverse founders share their experiences of running a startup

Amy Williams, founder of Adtech startup GoodLoop.
By Sadia Nowshin
HSBC’s Zing has less than 20% of Wise’s monthly downloads - but CEO insists it’s ‘bang on plan’
FintechInterview

April 16, 2024

HSBC’s Zing has less than 20% of Wise’s monthly downloads - but CEO insists it’s ‘bang on plan’

By Tom Matsuda
Independent shop marketplace Trouva acquired for third time in two years

April 16, 2024

Independent shop marketplace Trouva acquired for third time in two years

By Kai Nicol-Schwarz
Methane is damaging the planet - this breakthrough technology could be the solution

April 16, 2024

Methane is damaging the planet - this breakthrough technology could be the solution

By Mimi Billing
Qureight raises $8.5m to use AI to speed up the $92bn clinical trials market

April 16, 2024

Qureight raises $8.5m to use AI to speed up the $92bn clinical trials market

By Sadia Nowshin
Berlin tech salaries are up in 2024, but women still earn 15% less than men

April 15, 2024

Berlin tech salaries are up in 2024, but women still earn 15% less than men

By Miriam Partington