After $800M Investment, Payment Start-up Mollie is Now Europe’s Third Fintech

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After $800M Investment, Payment Start-up Mollie is Now Europe’s Third Fintech
WDnetStudio / Pixabay

Amsterdam-based start-up Mollie has raised $800 million in a big financing round, making it the third biggest fintech unicorn in Europe. With such investment, the company by Adriaan Mol when up from $1 billion value in September, to $6.5 billion according to CB Insights data.

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Q1 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

At present, Mollie’s online payment platform is trusted by more than 100,000 businesses and organizations including Dyson, Acer Inc (TPE:2353), Guess? (NYSE:GES), Delivero (LON:ROO), and UNICEF, but it is focused on facilitating companies of all sizes to scale and grow through alternative payment methods. Mollie is on a mission to develop into the “most-loved PSP in Europe by simplifying complex financial services.”

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Alternative to banks

According to Adriaan Mol, the company started as a text messaging business in 2014, but very quickly dabbled into payments after struggling to integrate its system for clients to pay their invoices.

Mol told CNBC: “I was amazed at how badly that was built by the traditional banks. We created this abstraction layer to the complex systems of the banks. That was the start of our payment business.”

Upon its creation, Mol opted to let the company grow organically before accepting a first $100 million investment round in 2020 by TCV –a growth-stage investor in the tech business. After that deal, says CEO Shane Happach, “Mollie was soon flooded with offers from investors.”

Given the burning growth of digital payment services during COVID-19, Mollie was the subject of a juicy Series C round led by Blackstone’s growth equity investment unit, as well as rounds from EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT), General Atlantic, HMI Capital, and Alkeon Capital.

“We’re trying to build a $100 billion company. We know that takes a long time. It’s capital-intensive,” Happach told CNBC.

Fierce Competition

Worth $2 trillion, the online payments market is the stage for intensifying competition through the last decade, including other fintech endeavors like Stripe, Jack Dorsey’s Square, and Netherlands-based Adyen.

Mollie plans to grow in Europe offering transactions to small businesses, as Happach acknowledges that, “a lot of the bigger players in online payments come out of the U.S., like PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL). Even Visa Inc (NYSE:V) and Mastercard (NYSE:MA) are U.S. companies.” Since several investors “don’t have a bet on Europe,” he says, Mollie is one of those unique assets that offers exposure.

One of its competitors is Stripe, operating from both Dublin and San Francisco and last privately valued at $95 billion. The company raised hundreds of millions of dollars in early 2021, to expand across Europe.

Mollie is now the third-biggest in Europe behind British fintech Checkout.com, which increased its total revenue by 96% in 2019 compared to 2018 –from $ 74.8 million to $146.4 million.

The cloud payments technology company claims to have tripled its payment volume processed in 2020, and claims it has added over 500 new business customers in the past 12 months, including Coinbase Inc (NASDAQ:COIN), Pizza Hut, H&M (STO:HM-B), Grab, Klarna, Telegram, as well as Farfetch Ltd (NYSE:FTCH).

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