From a small office in Amsterdam, payment startup Adyen BV shows even under-the-radar companies can gain major traction in the booming world of payment processing.
The eight-year-old company quietly processed more than $14 billion in payment transactions last year from merchants including Groupon Inc., Evernote Inc. and airbnb Inc. It reports earning $95 million in revenue last year, up from $65 million in 2012.
Thanks to the continuing explosion of online global commerce, the company expects to do north of $163 million in 2014 revenue.
“These are the people selling the tools in the gold rush for Internet companies to expand globally. It’s one of the few meta-plays,” said Felicis Ventures Founding Partner Aydin Senkut.
Like First Data Corp., Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC. and Worldpay U.S. Inc., Adyen serves as a middleman, enabling merchants to accept MasterCard and Visa and other payment methods in 187 currencies around the world. The company charges a variable fee to merchants on top of the credit card fees.
The ability to generate strong revenue from just a few hundred large players along with a founding team Mr. Senkut described as “the Navy Seal team of payments,” piqued his interest.
Mr. Senkut said he pursued the startup and provided introductions and other help to Adyen for more than two years, before being allowed to invest last fall.
Adyen President Kamren Zaki told VentureWire that Felicis joined early investor Index Ventures, which provided the introduction, and together the firms have invested around $16 million. The investments were previously undisclosed and are not currently listed on either firms’ websites.
The company was started by Pieter van der Does and Arnout Schuijff, who co-founded Adyen with proceeds from selling their previous startup Bitbit to the Royal Bank of Scotland. Bootstrapping Adyen and targeting large enterprise accounts rather than consumer plays, the startup was focused less on marketing and more on building its technology and closing deals. Along with enabling payments, it provides analytics and risk management services to customers as part of the same fee.
Now, it’s focused on expanding in the U.S. market.
“We’re making the biggest push in the U.S.,” said Mr. Zaki, adding he expects to double U.S. headcount to 40 or so across sales, account management, compliance and other functions. “We are a tech company that is in the payments space. We’re doing [product] releases every month and custom builds for [some] clients in days or weeks instead of months.”