Checkout wants to be Rapyd and Fast

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture-capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines. We’re back on this lovely Saturday with a bonus episode!

Again!

There is enough going on that to avoid failing to bring you stuff that we think matters, we are back yet again for more. This time around we are not talking Roblox, we’re talking about ecommerce, and a number of rounds — big and small — that have been raised in the space. Honest question: do y’all plan to release news on the same week? Are trends a social construct?

From Natasha, Grace, Danny, and your humble servant, here’s your run-down:

  • Webflow raised $ 140 million in a round that it says it did not need. This is not a new thing. Some startups are doing well, and don’t burn much. So investors offer them more at a nice price. In this case $ 2.1 billion. (Webflow does no-code
  • Checkout.com raised $ 450 million. The rich really do get richer. In this case the founders of Checkout.com, whose company is now worth around $ 15 billion Checkout.com does, you guessed, online checkout work. Which as Danny explains is complicated and critical.
  • We also talked about this Bolt round, for context.
  • And sticking to the ecommerce theme, Rapyd raised $ 300 million at around a $ 2.5 billion valuation. There is infinte money available for late-stage fintech.
  • Early stage as well, it turns out, with Tradeswell raising $ 15.5 million to help businesses improve their net margins.
  • Finally, ending with a chat on infrastructure, Nacelle closed an $ 18 million Series A. 

And now we’re going back to bed.

Equity drops every Monday at 7:00 a.m. PST and Thursday afternoon as fast as we can get it out, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.

Startups – TechCrunch

Rapyd raises $300M on a $2.5B valuation to boost its fintech-as-a-service API

A wave of organizations — propelled by global COVID-19 pandemic circumstances — are moving their commercial and financial interactions online, and today one of the big players helping to enable that shift is announcing a significant round of growth funding to expand the tools and services that it provides to them.

Rapyd, which provides an API-based “fintech-as-a-service” platform covering payments, banking services, fraud protection and more, has raised $ 300 million, funding that CEO and co-founder Arik Shtilman said in an interview will be used to expand its team, build out more technology (next up: expanded fraud ID services and a wider marketplace) and make selected acquisitions.

Rapyd’s customer base now numbers about 5,000 businesses, which includes marketplaces (labor marketplaces and marketplaces for goods), e-commerce businesses, other kinds of lenders and any business that might want to incorporate transactions or new financial services into their wider offerings. Shtilman said that at the moment, Rapyd is seeing its strongest growth yet, onboarding about 500 new customers each week.

The funding is coming at a $ 2.5 billion post-money valuation, Shtilman confirmed. (For some context on that, Rapyd was last valued at $ 1.2 billion in December 2019.)

The round is a Series D and is being led by prolific growth-round VC Coatue, with Spark Capital, Avid Ventures, FJ Labs and Latitude (all new backers), as well as General Catalyst, Oak HC/FT, Tiger Global, Target Global, Durable Capital, Tal Capital and Entrée Capital (all previous backers) also participating. Other past investors, notably, include another major player in the world of API-based financial services, Stripe.

As with other companies in categories that have seen a huge surge of demand in the last year, financial services — and in particular those providing services to be able to carry out transactions online via the internet or phone — have proven to be some of the most mandatory and most used. (And no wonder, since bills still need paying, food and other items still need to be purchased, loans very much still need to be made and so on.)

This was what many would call an “opportunistic” raise, made not to keep the lights on or to extend runway, but because the money was being offered to Rapyd at good terms, and there were smart places where it could be put to use to grow the business.

“We didn’t plan to raise money when we raised this round, but when the pandemic came in our business started to boom,” Shtilman said. “We were approached by existing investors to scale beyond our original business plans after we completed our 2021 growth plans in three months in 2020. So we thought the timing was probably right for world domination.”

Shtilman was partly (only partly) joking — he has a sort of deadpan delivery that I can’t quite capture here — but it’s a far cry from the startup’s early days, when “no one wanted to invest because everyone thought it would be too hard to execute. Even our early investors advised us to focus on a smaller concept. But we thought building globally doesn’t work. To start small is against the idea. Over the last several years, the need to explain what we do [has] almost vanished.”

The challenge (and opportunity) that Rapyd identified back in 2017 when it first opened for business (having been hatched in Israel originally) is that the global commerce and financial markets are very highly fragmented. Consumers and businesses in individual markets have their own preferred payment methods and demands, regulations differ and the key companies involved vary from country to country.

Meanwhile, APIs have long been a great instrument for integration and connection: Using a few lines of code — and presuming your own services are built on code too — you can knit together services, and bring in commoditized functionality that would take ages to build from the ground up, cutting down the effort and work needed, to focus on making your core business more unique.

While companies like Stripe, Twilio and many others had identified the opportunity of leveraging APIs to scale out a world of functionality to a wider set of would-be customers, what Rapyd really identified and built out was the idea of loading not just one, two or three services, but hundreds (even thousands) of features into that proposition. In fintech, where those services are complex, there is a big array of them from which to choose what to build, and also a big pool of would-be customers to use them, if you are aiming wide.

The idea is smart and, as Shtilman noted, very much in keeping with the economies of scale that exist in e-commerce and fintech: Individual transactions are at the end of the day very incremental, so services that bring many together can finally start to conceive of interesting returns.

That, of course, is not just something Rapyd has identified and run with. That is to say, the company has a number of competitors now in the market.

Just last week, Germany-based Mambu, which also provides an API-based suite of services (7,000 at last count) under the idea of “banking as a service,” raised $ 135 million at a valuation of over $ 2 billion. Stripe, a backer of Rapyd, also has continued to expand and add a number of services well beyond payments. Thought Machine also raised a big round last year; Temenos and Italy’s Edera are also strong players here.

And the field has so much opportunity that it’s even attracting a lot of newer entrants: witness Unit, another interesting player that came out of stealth in the U.S. in December with an interesting list of backers of its own.

“To build financial infrastructure, it doesn’t matter whether you are a small mom and pop or something bigger, you need many things, and if you want to sell in more than one jurisdiction you need a lot of those services,” Shtilman noted about the need for scale and breadth in a fintech platform proposition. He’s also very sanguine about competition.

“They have emerged like mushrooms after the rain,” he said. “But if you don’t have competition it means you don’t have a business, so this is good. It means there is a lot of demand. But for now we are the market leader. We think we will become the AWS of this space.”

That’s where investors like Coatue are also landing for now.

“The payment landscape varies dramatically across countries. A company doing business globally might need to accept hundreds of local payment methods. Rapyd’s API, which abstracts away this complexity, is currently powering what we think are many of the world’s most exciting companies,” said Kris Fredrickson, managing partner at Coatue, in a statement. “We are honored to partner with Arik and team for the next phase of the Rapyd journey.”

Startups – TechCrunch

Israeli fintech startup Rapyd completes $400 million funding at $2.5 billion valuation – CTech

Israeli fintech startup Rapyd completes $ 400 million funding at $ 2.5 billion valuation  CTech
“startups when:1d” – Google News

British ‘Fintech-as-a-Service’ provider Rapyd raises €245M at €2.05B, to help businesses thrive in any local market globally; here’s how

Rapyd

The global pandemic has had a dramatic financial impact on both consumers and merchants, this has led to more transactions moving onto digital platforms. In a recent development, London-based Rapyd, a fintech-as-a-service platform that provides local payments network services, has raised $ 300M (approx €245.5M) in its Series D round of funding led by Coatue – a technology-focused investment manager led by Philippe Laffont.

Reportedly, post this round, Rapyd is now valued at $ 2.5B (approx €2.05B). Prior to this, when the company raised funding in 2019, it was valued at $ 1.2B (approx €982M).

Besides, the round also saw participation from several new investors including Spark Capital, Avid Ventures, FJ Labs, and Latitude, along with current investors General Catalyst, Oak FT, Tiger Global, Target Global, Durable Capital, Tal Capital, and Entrée Capital.

Use of the funds

The raised capital will be used to double the engineering and product teams, as well as expand the “Self-Service” element of Rapyd’s platform. This would empower businesses globally to onboard and utilise its financial capabilities in the shortest possible time frame, claims the company. 

Arik Shtilman, co-founder and CEO of Rapyd, says, “To kick off 2021 with this substantial round of funding to further invest in our platform is a tremendous vote of confidence both in the growing need for local payment solutions that can be deployed at scale globally and more specifically in our vision and company.”

The company will continue its focus on core markets that serve B2C and B2B e-commerce payments, marketplace, and financial services businesses.

Who does Rapyd serve?

Founded in 2016 by Arik Shtilman, Rapyd is a single technology platform that claims to be the fastest way to power local payments anywhere in the world, enabling companies across the globe to access markets quicker than ever before. “We serve multiple industries and verticals, including global e-commerce companies, gig-economy players, banks, and B2B businesses,” says Shtilman.

“We have built a global payments solution for anyone who needs to accept or pay money to their buyers or sellers, move money around the world, or create new fintech services for their users.”

According to the company, it has solved one of the key challenges – fragmentation. Consumers and businesses around the world like to pay and be paid in different ways, including cash, credit cards, bank transfers, ewallets, and local debit schemes. Rapyd gives businesses the ability to offer a choice of any local payment method.

Its platform embeds fintech services into any application and simplifies the offering of local payment methods through an easy-to-use API while managing diverse compliance and regulatory requirements.

Businesses can accept and send payments without having to build their own infrastructure through the Rapyd Global Payments Network which supports local payment methods including cards, bank transfers, ewallets, and cash.

The platform is unifying fragmented payment systems worldwide by bringing together over more than 900 payment methods in over 100 countries.

“The demand for online payments has skyrocketed following the restrictions due to the effects of COVID, and as a company, we are well placed to provide businesses across the globe with the solutions they need and to get them up and running fast,” says Arik Shtilman. 2020 experienced a massive acceleration in the adoption of local and cross-border digital payments, which has fueled tremendous global growth for Rapyd.

Following Rapyd’s acquisition and integration of European card acquirer Korta in 2020, the company is now exploring additional strategic acquisitions in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Previous fundraising

In December 2019, the company secured $ 20M (approx €18M) in a funding round led by Durable Capital Partners LP.

Prior to that in October 2019, the company raised $ 100M (approx €92M) in its Series C round of funding, led by Oak HC/FT along with participation from Tiger Global, Coatue, General Catalyst, Target Global, Stripe and Entrée Capital.

And, in February 2019, Rapyd raised $ 40M (approx €35M) in its Series B round jointly led by General Catalyst and Stripe, a payments giant along with the participation of other investors such as Target Global and IGNIA. It said that the funds were raised to add more functions to its platform, and to expand its customer base, and hire more staff.

Startups – Silicon Canals

Here’s why London-based fintech startup Rapyd acquired Icelandic startup Korta

London-based Rapyd offers payment services to transfer electronic funds across borders via various payment modes such as digital wallets, bank transfers, and cash. Till date, the fintech company was missing out on the ability to process debit and credit card payments sans any third-party services.

To facilitate the same, the fintech firm has acquired Korta (Kortathjonustan hf), which is an Icelandic credit card payment processing company. As of now, the amount involved in the all-cash deal remains undisclosed.

Why Rapyd chose Korta?

Founded by Arik Shtilman back in 2015, Rapyd helps customers and businesses pay and be paid. Its fintech-as-a-service platform lets cross-border payments and is touted to operate the world’s largest local payments network that connects over 2 billion consumers across the world. There are convenient options for customers letting them access both payment options and cash transfers.

Korta processes $ 2.5 billion in payments for Mastercard and Visa every year and generates $ 40 million annual revenues. With the acquisition, Rapyd will get online acquiring and POS (point-of-sale) capabilities as it grows its worldwide footprint.

Acquisition amidst COVID-19 crisis

The acquisition has been made possible by the COVID-19 crisis. The deal was sealed via the video conferencing tool Zoom as there are travel restrictions across Europe. Furthermore, Rapyd added that they will be making more such acquisitions as soon as the crisis is over.

It believes that Korta’s omnichannel card and Rapyd Global Payments Network can provide merchants irrespective of their size with a much better experience than the current ability that serves over 900 local payment methods in more than 100 countries.

Notably, in October 2019, Rapyd secured $ 100 million (nearly €92 million) Series C funding, in a round led by Oak HC/FT along with participation from Tiger Global, Coatue, General Catalyst, Target Global, Stripe and Entrée Capital.

Main image picture credits: Rapyd

Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more European technology news.

The post Here’s why London-based fintech startup Rapyd acquired Icelandic startup Korta appeared first on Silicon Canals .

Startups – Silicon Canals