As the trusted and proven Paytech Pioneer™ uniquely focused on supporting the growth journeys of our customers, nothing gets us more excited than when we see our partners and customers dominating the fintech news agenda. That is why each month we update our ‘Making Headlines’ blog series.
In the March edition, we cover a variety of announcements, from investments and strategic partnerships, to exciting new initiatives from our wonderful customers and partners.
1. Congratulations to Paysafe! The GPS customer and partner went public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on 31st March following its $9 billion merger with blank-cheque firm Foley Trasimene Acquisition II Corp. Paysafe, which includes amongst its brands our customer Skrill, is backed by Blackstone and CVC. Companies use Paysafe products to handle credit card, cash and direct-debit transactions digitally. 2021 is proving to be a red-hot year for fintech IPOs and SPACs already!
2. Next is news from our diversity partner, findexable. Following last month’s announcement of GPS’ sponsorship of findexable’s Fintech Diversity Radar, the initiative officially went live on International Women’s Day (8th March), with all privately-owned fintech companies invited to take part in the survey here. On the topic of gender equality, GPS was also named as one of the Top 10 of the 35 signatories that have met female representation in senior management targets in HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter Annual Review, which is an achievement we’re incredibly proud of!
3. Next up is Revolut, who has taken the next step in its growth journey across both Europe and the US. In its home continent, the popular neobank announced that its European customers in Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia can now become full Revolut Bank customers, allowing them to switch their account across different European markets and having their deposits protected under the deposit guarantee scheme up to a value of €100,000. Meanwhile, Revolut has also applied for a US banking charter so that it can begin operating as an independent bank stateside. Obtaining the charter would allow it to offer more financial services, especially lending and savings products.
4. WeLab, the parent company of WeLab Bank, had a fantastic month for growth, with the announcement of a new $75 million investment led by Allianz X, the digital investment unit of the Germany-based insurer and asset manager Allianz Group. This new funding will be put towards further expansion plans of its digital banking service across the pan-Asia region. According to Simon Loong, Group CEO and Founder of WeLab, there is a $3 trillion revenue opportunity in terms of the total addressable market size for financial services in Asia.
5. Continuing with the theme of investment, Starling Bank announced that it has closed a £272 million investment, valuing the company at a hefty £1.37 billion and making it the UK’s latest fintech unicorn. Starling highlighted that it had generated £12 million in revenue in January this year, up 400% from last year, and has posted operating profits for four consecutive months, with its net income currently exceeding a whopping £1.5 million per month. Starling said it plans to use the funding to bolster its lending operations in the UK, expand into other parts of Europe, and make strategic acquisitions.
6. Skrill, the digital payments brand, is looking to bring the world of secure digital payments directly to football fans this year, following its announcement that it is now an official partner of Leeds United Football Club! As part of this partnership, Skrill’s branding will be prominently displayed around Elland Road stadium during home matches and it will also host a live payment option on the team’s online merchandise store and ticketing portal.
7. Next, we have Razer which made a record $1.2 billion in revenue last year, representing an incredible 48% year-on-year growth, with Razer Fintech seeing $4.3 billion in total payment volumes in 2020, doubling from a year ago. The gaming behemoth also announced its intention to go green with a ten-year sustainability plan dubbed the #GoGreenWithRazer According to CEO, Min-Liang Tan, some of the targets in this roadmap include the use of 100% renewable energy by 2025, all products to use recycled or recyclable materials by 2030 and being 100% carbon neutral by 2030.
8. pliant, supplier of the newest generation of corporate credit cards, recently began supporting German sportswear retailer, Sportissimi GmbH, to simplify its expense management system. Commenting on the move to pliant, CEO Dennis Ramaty said: “The best part is that pliant’s credit cards can be set up online in minutes and are ready to use right away!”
Finally, our CEO, Joanne Dewar, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, Lisa Grahame, and VP People and Culture, Annette Evans, were all named in Innovate Finance’s Women in Fintech Powerlist! This truly is a testament not just to Joanne, Lisa and Annette for their outstanding leadership, but to all of the talented women in GPS – who make up 34% of our workforce – for excelling in their respective departments. Here’s to continuing to smash the glass ceiling!