For Pieter van der Does and Arnout Schuijff, co-founders of Adyen BV, replacing PayPal Holdings Inc. as EBay Inc.’s payment processor was a major coup. But the Dutch firm’s June 13 share offering on the Euronext stock exchange, announced Tuesday, represents the fulfillment of a decades-long dream.
Van der Does and Schuijff helped establish one of the first online payment processors, Bibit, back in the 1990s dot-com boom. Royal Bank of Scotland acquired it in 2004. But in 2006, Bibit’s founders checked out to form a new venture — Adyen — and this time, Van der Does told Bloomberg in a 2016 interview, they had no intention of ever selling out.
By 2017, Adyen was processing in excess of $122 billion in payments for the year, an increase of 61 percent from the year before, and generated $1.2 billion in revenue, according to financial filings. Uber Technologies Inc., Netflix Inc., Spotify Technology SA, and Facebook Inc., are all customers.
On Tuesday, the company announced its intention to go public and generate as much as 947 million euros ($1.1 billion) for existing investors in one of the biggest European fintech IPOs in years. It hits as the battle to rule Europe’s payments infrastructure is intensifying to an unprecedented degree.
For years, the systems for processing payments in stores and online have been controlled by big banks, credit card issuers, and a few longstanding IT suppliers. Yet Adyen is part of a new breed of fintech firms challenging this hegemony, and the European Union has embraced this new order as a way to stoke more choices for consumers.
In January, Brussels implemented a law that requires banks across the bloc to open their systems and share customer data with qualified fintechs and other players. In April, the Bank of England granted TransferWise Ltd., a London-based money transfer startup, direct access to its payment system, which means it no longer has to depend on lenders to settle its customers’ transactions. It’s the first non-bank to join the the most exclusive club in British finance.
Adyen’s offering also punctuates a spate of dealmaking in the European fintech scene. In May, PayPal acquired Swedish payments processor iZettle for $2.2 billion. Later this year, Funding Circle Ltd. a London-based peer-to-peer lender, is expected to hold its own IPO that may value the firm at $2.6 billion. Chinese players are now starting to move into Europe’s fintech space: In March, Hong Kong-based Tencent Holdings Ltd. co-led a $160 million funding round in N26 GmbH, a German digital bank.
Entrepreneurs from Berlin…