Plaid Plans to Double Europe Staff After Visa Deal Falls Through

Financial-technology firm Plaid Inc. is planning to nearly double its size in Europe, focusing on expanding the business’s global reach after Visa Inc.’s $5.3 billion acquisition fell through.

Plaid will have about 80 employees in its London and Amsterdam offices by the end of 2021, up from 40 to 50 currently, Keith Grose, head of the San Francisco-based company’s international business, said in an interview.

The company, which connects popular financial apps like Venmo to customers’ data in the established banking system, plans to focus on growth in the European market because it sees particularly high demand for services in areas like payments, Grose said. Overall, it has 600 employees.

“We’re growing our team of Brits and Europeans,” Grose said. “We are planning to aggressively scale the customers that we have and the volume of payments that we’re handling.”

The startup is focused on building out product features and considering expanding into new parts of the continent, Grose said. Plaid has more than 4,000 customers including the likes of Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, and has attracted top-tier financial investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Visa and Plaid scrapped their deal after facing a prolonged antitrust fight with the U.S. Justice Department, which argued that the card giant wanted to buy the fintech to eliminate an emerging threat to its business.

Grose said that the company is looking to build out its client base among other financial-technology firms and technology companies developing their own financial services offerings. The canceled Visa deal will have a limited impact, he said.

“Our strategy hasn’t shifted,” he said. “We’re back to being a startup. We’re back to owning our own destiny.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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