FinTech: London-based Fintech Floats Venture Arm

December 11, 2020 | FinTech, News

Cashed up and profitable, Checkout is looking for deal-making opportunities.

Launched in 2012, fintech startup tripled its valuation to $5.5 billion in June 2020 when it collected $150 million in a Series B funding round. That round brought up its aggregate funds raised to $380 million and the available cash on its balance sheet to over $300 million. Add profitability (Checkout has been in the black since founding) to the mix and you have a very well-funded startup indeed. It’s therefore not surprising that Checkout is now investing in other fintechs. (Sifted) – a fintech turned VC is putting its cash arsenal to use via a venture arm floated this year, according to chief executive Guillaume Pousaz.

Speaking to Sifted, he said: “We’re profitable, we have a very strong balance sheet. If there’s a company we want to buy, but they won’t let us — you know, the founder still has eyes full of stars — then it’s better to try to invest in the company.”

Checkout made its maiden VC-type investment this year when it invested a sizable amount in Singaporean payments network Thunes.

It is looking for many more of such investment opportunities, preferring them to outright acquisitions.

However, acqui-hires are a different story and one that Checkout favors. As Pousaz says, the firm likes to pay for a team – “We don’t buy revenue.”

New trend?

Though it appears that Checkout is emulating the VC-like moves made by Stripe, there could be a nascent trend forming here.

Checkout could be a pioneer among cash-rich fintechs that are using their surplus funds to invest in or acquire, other startups.

But there’s a qualifier here according to Pousaz: Checkout only struck deals that made sense to shareholders and where the business could logically complement its own operations.

Related Story:    UK-based Lands $150M at a $5.5B Valuation

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