With Mollie, Europe has created a new fintech unicorn that does a rather unspectacular thing: it handles payments in online stores. After founder Adriaan Mol started the company in 2004, it has since grown to more than 300 employees and around 100,000 customers. The latest round of financing gives Mollie the unicorn status, meaning it’s valued at more than a billion dollars.
The Dutch-based payment service provider has announced that it has raised a whopping $106.3 million (€90 million) in its Series B funding round. The round was led by TCV from the United States. TCV is a very well-known investor that has also invested its money in major companies like Airbnb, ByteDance, Spotify, Revolut, as well as Tourradar from Austria. The new financing round is a serious leap. So far, Mollie has “only” raised about $29.5 million (€25 million) up to Series A. The global corona crisis and the push for e-commerce it has generated have obviously been very beneficial to the new billion-dollar rating.
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Rising rival of Adyen and Stripe
Mollie is not alone in the pool of companies that use APIs and plug-ins to easily integrate payment options such as credit card, Apple Pay, PayPal or Klarna (instant bank transfer, payment by installments) into websites. Although the resounding insolvency of Wirecard means that a major player has been eliminated, with Adyen from the Netherlands, Worldline from France or Stripe from the USA, there are many other large fintech companies working in the field.
Mollie founder Adriaan Mol knows how tough the competition is, of course. That’s why he has a strategy: He wants to serve each country in a targeted way by localizing all the services (language, payment methods) and focusing on small and mid-sized enterprises, which see the coronavirus crisis as a strong reason to get into e-commerce as quickly as possible. This process should be made as easy as possible for both merchants and their customers. John Doran, of lead investor TCV, is even convinced that the “Apple of the payments world” is yet to be built.
Entering the credit card business?
Mollie actually emerged as a side project of Mol’s first startup, MessageBird. This company is somewhat similar to Twilio in the US and is still running, but Mol left it and focused on Mollie many years ago instead. The entrepreneur has plenty of plans for his company. These could include issuing credit cards or new financial products for companies.
The app and media industry is already being served by Mollie. Especially for players in these industries, like newspapers, Mollie is creating payment options for subscription models to easily handle recurring payments, which are extremely common in this sector.
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