UK-based fintech Checkout.com has raised an eye-popping $1 billion Series D round at a $40 billion valuation. The company plans to use the money to fuel its U.S. expansion and launch a marketplace. And notably, to “strengthen leadership in Web3.”
CEO Guillaume Pousaz founded Checkout.com in 2012. The company is a merchant account provider that specializes in processing international payments for e-commerce businesses.
The billion dollars came largely from Altimeter, Dragoneer, Franklin Templeton, GIC, Insight Partners, the Qatar Investment Authority, Tiger Global, the Oxford Endowment Fund. An unnamed “large west coast mutual fund manager” also chipped in.
Just last year, Checkout.com raised a $450 million Series C at a $15 billion valuation.
“The news is a reflection of the speed of the world’s inexorable shift to digital. It also means that we’ve more than doubled our valuation since our Series C just a year ago,” Pousaz said in a blog post announcing the raise. “And given we’re still at what I refer to as ‘chapter zero,’ there’s an incredible opportunity ahead.”
Checkout.com works with some of the top brands in eCommerce, fintech, and cryptocurrency. These include Netflix, Farfetch, Grab, NetEase, Pizza Hut, Shein, Siemens, Sony, Klarna, Qonto, Revolut, WorldRemit, plus Coinbase, Crypto.com, FTX, and MoonPay.
Even before this latest round, Checkout.com was an active strategic investor. For example, in April 2021, Checkout.com invested $110 million in Saudi-based buy now, pay later platform Tamara. We expect the company will go on an acquisition binge with a fresh $1 billion burning a hole in its pocket.
Looking Ahead to Web3
“At our core, we help enterprise merchants to navigate the complexity of moving money around the world, whether in fiat currency or bridging the gap to Web3,” Pousaz said.
The company’s emphasis on Web3 is interesting. Web3 is getting a lot more attention lately. This has been propelled by tech leaders like Jack Dorsey talking up a decentralized future built on the blockchain. Web3 is a complex topic, which we will dig into further here in 2022.
Put simply, it represents a rejection of the centralization of Web2. That’s the world we currently live in, dominated by Facebook, Google, and the rest of Big Tech. Any company operating in cross-border payments must be steeped in Web3, as it will likely soon redefine how money moves around the world.
Notably, some big names in local have recently launched Web3 businesses.
Former Facebook/Meta exec Philip Rather left to lead a Web3 startup called musical. Here is how it’s described on Rather’s LinkedIn profile. “A web3 platform helping musicians and other creatives connect through a single solution for storing files, managing collaborations, negotiating splits and royalties, and distributing music.”
And then there is Justin Sanger, a familiar figure in local search who founded Local Launch and SupportLocal. Justin is now leading a Web3 martech startup called SMBChain. This Miami-based startup aims to put control of local data back in the hands of small businesses using NFTs.
We’ll devote more attention to this emerging trend in future posts on Localogy Insider.