PSP fintech Mollie joins unicorn club with €90m Series B funding round
Mollie, an Amsterdam-based payments service provider (PSP), has landed unicorn status with a €90 million ($100 million) Series B led by Revolut backer TCV.
The now €1 billion-valued fintech, founded in 2004, claims to serve nearly 100,000 merchants across Europe.
Chief commercial officer (CCO) Ken Serdons tells FinTech Futures that Mollie was bootstrapped until its first funding round last year. Total investments to date come to €115 million.
Why is Mollie raising now?
Claiming to turn a profit, Mollie now wants to grow faster by investing more in itself. The two focuses are international expansion and new products.
While Serdons couldn’t share exact details on these plans, he did say “there’s still quite a lot to do in Europe”.
“There are a lot of markets still to go after [in Europe] where incumbent players are offering poor products and customer service,” says Serdons. “We can completely disrupt these markets where incumbents still have a lot of market share.”
As for new products, Serdons mentioned Mollie is focused on offerings around cash flow, though this is just one of a number of ideas the fintech is working on.
Mollie vs Stripe
Whille big US payments player Stripe, valued at a whopping $36 billion, is establishing a significant presence in Europe, smaller players like Mollie are offering a more localised alternative.
The fintech offers payments options for every part of the ecosystem – be that shopping carts or accounting software. Its platform is fully API-based, connects to local databases for know your customer (KYC) processes, and offers more available support in local languages.
“We don’t go for super large players, but we do focus a lot on medium-sized companies – so ones which do around 100-300 million transactions in volume [a year],” says Serdons.
By offering local payment methods, Mollie helps smaller and mid-size merchants grow abroad. If consumers don’t have to use foreign payment methods, then they’re more likely to complete a payment and revisit the merchant.
Mollie also optimises checkout pages for conversion, as drop offs can be extremely expensive – especially for smaller businesses. Serdons says this has helped boost conversion rates for businesses up to 7%.
Keeping it simple
Because Mollie caters to smaller businesses, its offering is highly automated to save time and manpower.
And while the fintech does believe in a localised approach, it never builds custom solutions for certain clients – no matter their size.
“Our customers all use the same products,” says Serdons. “We don’t believe in bespoke development, as this can complicate everything.”
Mollie processes more than €1 billion in transactions a month. It boasts over 100% growth this year compared to 2019, and has seen year-on-year (YoY) growth continue to increase between June and July despite the pandemic.
Relationship with TCV
Adriaan Mole, Mollie’s founder, already had “strong connections” with TCV. Mole also has his own venture capital firm, Stash Ventures, which is based in the Netherlands.
Serdons says the deal was all done virtually in “a very short time frame”. He adds that TCV is in it “for the long run.”
Muz Ashraf, a principal at TCV, says the investor has “been tracking Mollie for some time now”.
He cites the fintech’s “frictionless, highly developer-friendly and very localised” features as the main reasons for the backing.
Currently, Mollie makes its money from its core product – the checkout software – where it charges customers for successful transactions. This charge is a small percentage of the transaction.
Merchants don’t have to pay monthly fees and aren’t tied into 12-month contracts, which again makes the platform far more accessible for smaller merchants.