Payments Startup Becomes Unicorn as Eurazeo, Wellington Invest

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PPRO, a payments startup, is a so-called unicorn, attaining a $1 billion valuation after raising more than $180 million from Eurazeo Growth, Sprints Capital and Wellington Management.

“Since the pandemic, we’ve witnessed a seismic shift in the way people are relying on digital payments -- growth is accelerating and PPRO is at the heart of it,” PPRO Chief Executive Officer Simon Black said in an interview. “With this investment, we can comfortably double or triple the size of the business,” he added, referring to revenue, which in 2020 eclipsed $70 million and is growing at more than 50% a year.

The London-based company, which is profitable, processed $11 billion in payments volume last year, a 90% jump from 2019, with Latin America, Europe and the Asia Pacific fueling much of its activity. Black expects continued growth in 2021, in part due to ongoing adoption of the use of QR codes or apps for payment in a post-vaccine world.

Founded in 2006, PPRO facilitates cross-border payments in more than 175 countries for partners including Citigroup Inc., Mastercard Inc., Mollie, PayPal Holdings Inc. and Worldpay.

Its latest funding may be used to fuel acquisitions, potentially in the Asia Pacific region, Black said. PPRO may also seek to make tuck-in acquisitions that bolster its local payments offering, via services like foreign exchange or fraud and risk mitigation. An initial public offering may be in the company’s future, Black said.

PPRO was advised by Financial Technology Partners and Noerr on its latest funding round. Its earlier backers include Citi Ventures, HPE Growth and PayPal.

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