With $1 billion funding round, Checkout.com gears up for Web3
- London-based Checkout.com raised $1 billion dollars in its Series D round of funding, which saw the firm valued at $40 billion.
- The firm has three major projects following the funding: a push for Web3, expansion into the US market, and additions of new solutions to its platform.
Leading fintech firms are increasingly turning their sites to prepare for the internet of the future, Web3. Payments platform Checkout.com raised $1 billion at a $40 billion valuation last week with eyes on investing in blockchain.
“By combining an elegant technology stack with industry expertise and an 'extra-mile' approach to service over the past decade, we've built deep partnerships with some of the world’s most innovative companies. Our Series D is a validation of that work — but given we’re still in ‘chapter zero’ of our journey, it will also fuel our efforts to unlock the enormous untapped opportunity ahead,” said Guillaume Pousaz Checkout.com founder and CEO, in the company’s announcement.
Among the primary projects that Checkout.com’s latest round will fund will be the firm’s expansion into Web3.
Web3 can be understood as the third generation of internet services run on blockchain technologies, creating a more secure, decentralized, autonomous, and open worldwide web.
Payments are a key component of the Web3 ecosystem. Web3 payments promise to be fast, seamless, and borderless. For companies like Checkout.com, which have already found a firm place in the world of online payments, Web3 payments are the obvious next step. There is a race among firms to power Web3 technologies like cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
“We see the adoption of cryptocurrencies and NFTs driving global ecommerce to grow faster than traditional commerce,” Bradley Riss, Chief Commercial Officer at Checkout.com, told Tearsheet. “As consumers increase the share of wealth locked in cryptocurrencies, merchants start experimenting with offerings for these early adopters. Our role is to make those connections and offer a broader range of options.”
Checkout.com is already deeply involved in the cryptocurrency space. The firm’s payment rails power some of the biggest exchanges in the world, including Coinbase, Crypto.com, FTX, and MoonPay. This represents almost 80% of the global crypto trading volume, according to the firm. The platform also serves fan token providers, notably Socios.com. Fan tokens are a type of cryptocurrency that grants owners access to membership perks, governance like voting on club decisions, and rewards, for example. Socios.com works with leading sports franchises like FC Barcelona and the Boston Celtics.
Checkout.com has also already tapped into the Metaverse with its blockchain-based digital wallet solutions. Most notably, it powers Novi, a digital wallet allowing international money transfer, run by Meta.
“We see the adoption of cryptocurrencies and NFTs driving global e-commerce to grow faster than traditional commerce—and our Series D round will help strengthen our position in that space. In terms of prospects, we see a lot of the tools now being pioneered in Web3 being applied to the Web 2.0 world to help traditional fintechs boost the speed and ease of how funds are transferred,” Riss said.
Checkout.com has been beta testing a new program that helps merchants settle transactions using digital currencies. While Riss was reluctant to share any further information or an expected release date at this stage, he did tell us this: “Beta testing suggests there is a solid benefit for those merchants looking for transactions to be settled in digital currency.”
Referring to the Checkout.com team as ‘technologists at heart’, Riss insists these emerging technologies can enable merchants and their communities to thrive in the digital economy, and that his firm’s platform is capable of powering this shift. “Thanks to the payments infrastructure we have created over the past decade, we’ve developed a platform that is modular, and effectively enables merchants to pick and choose features and products to create a custom solution,” he said.
To this end, Checkout.com has been busy building out its leadership. Last month, the firm hired Meron Colbeci, formerly the Head of Consumer Product Management at Novi, to serve as its Chief Product Officer. In addition, the firm also completed several other C-level hirings, including a new Chief Technology Officer, Ott Kaukver, a Skype and Twilio alumnus.
The funds raised by Checkout.com will be also used to power two other projects: its push for growth in the US market and to launch the firm’s new marketplace payment solutions.
The firm has grown notably in its home market of EMEA over the last year, reportedly tripling its transaction volume for the third year in a row. With aspirations of similar growth and scalability in other major markets, it is now focusing on the US, where it already offers its complete payment processing platform.
“Our focus this year is meeting that demand and that's why we are increasing our hiring efforts across North America to grow our employee base by over 200% in 2022,” Riss told us. “We’re also aiming to strike more U.S partnerships and expand the capabilities of our platform to address native U.S needs, release new products critical to effectively run their operations, and give merchants an international payments partner able to offer the best performing payments.”
Checkout.com also said it is ready to launch its solution to service marketplaces and payment facilitators later this year, having already tested with multiple global merchants. These new solutions include identity verification technologies, split payments, treasury-as-a-service, and an upgrade of its Payouts offering. The firm's Payouts offering processes billions of dollars in payout transactions for the likes of TikTok and MoneyGram.
“Our marketplace product is a new suite of features announced in our Series D fundraise and one which we are incredibly excited by,” Riss said. “We’ve seen the dramatic shift to digital during the pandemic and the continued growth of the gig economy for several years prior to that, and have developed a comprehensive new solution for integrating payments into online marketplaces. We will launch our solution to service marketplaces & payment facilitators (payfacs) later this year.”
Checkout.com’s Series D funding saw its valuation more than double since its $450 million Series C a year ago, where it was valued at $15 billion. The new round was led by Altimeter, Dragoneer, Franklin Templeton, GIC, Insight Partners, the Qatar Investment Authority, Tiger Global, and the Oxford Endowment Fund.