Payments company overtakes Revolut as UK’s most valuable start-up

Guillaume Pousaz, founder of Checkout.com

Credit: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

A London-based payments company has become Britain’s most valuable start-up, overtaking Revolut, after securing a $40bn (£29bn) valuation from a string of international investors.

The $1bn funding round for Checkout.com is believed to give its 40-year-old founder and biggest shareholder Guillaume Pousaz a fortune approaching $20bn.

Checkout, which handles payments for Netflix, Pizza Hut and Sony as well as other financial technology companies such as Klarna and Revolut, announced the funding on Tuesday.

Its $40bn valuation is more than double what it was worth a year ago when the company last raised funds and meant it has eclipsed Revolut.

Mr Pousaz has been reported as owning between half and two thirds of the company before the latest investment round, whose investors included the New York investment giant Tiger Global and the Qatar Investment Authority.

Founded by Swiss-born Mr Pousaz a decade ago, Checkout did not raise investment until 2019, when it was worth $2bn.

It is planning to use the funds partly to expand further into cryptocurrency technology as interest in the field continues to soar.

Checkout.com has more than 1,700 staff across 19 offices. Its headquarters are in central London although the company recently hired a US-based chief financial officer, suggesting it could consider New York as a potential destination for a float.

Its fundraising comes after Revolut hit a $33bn valuation last summer and virtual events firm Hopin was valued at $5.7bn. 

British tech start-ups have raised record sums in the last year, with London emerging as the biggest hub in Europe.

Checkout processes hundreds of billions of dollars in payments. Volumes tripled in each of the past three years due to soaring use of online payments in the pandemic and the rise of cryptocurrencies, with its services used by many online exchanges.

Checkout said it was profitable but would use the funds to strengthen its balance sheet and invest in new areas.

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