Guillaume Pousaz, the Swiss billionaire behind London-based payments fintech Checkout.com, is now Europe’s richest tech entrepreneur following a new round of fundraising. Pousaz’s company is now valued by investors at $40 billion after raising $1 billion from a group of investors. Pousaz, who Forbes estimates owns close to two-thirds of Checkout.com, is worth an estimated $23 billion–more than double the $9 billion Forbes previously estimated.
The series D round included investors Altimeter, Dragoneer, Franklin Templeton and several others, and takes the total raised by Checkout.com to $1.8 billion to date. Checkout.com said in a statement Wednesday that the money raised will be used to spur U.S. growth, where a 200% increase in headcount is planned for this year.
Checkout.com now counts as users of its payments processing offering the likes of Netflix, Farfetch, Grab and Sony, plus European fintechs like Klarna and Revolut and crypto players like Coinbase and Crypto.com.
In the latest accounts published in October 2021 for the calendar year 2020, Checkout.com saw turnover increase by 73% to $252 million, while losses after tax rose to $25 million, up from $9 million in 2019.
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A spokesperson for Checkout.com did not reply to a request for comment regarding Pousaz’s net worth.
The new funding underlines the rapid rise of entrepreneurs in digital payments processing during the pandemic. Checkout.com’s valuation has surged from $5.5 billion in June 2020, to $15 billion in January 2021, to its current $40 billion.
Checkout.com’s competitors, Stripe and Adyen, have likewise shot to eye-watering valuations amid a pandemic-related boom in at-home shopping. Stripe hit an investor-led valuation of $115 billion valuation in February last year, putting the estimated net worth of its founders Patrick Collison and John Collison at $9.5 billion a piece. Adyen, which trades on the Amsterdam stock exchange, has a market capitalization of nearly $72 billion; its shares have been on an upsurge since April 2020, though the stock has retreated from a high hit in early November.
Checkout.com has become one of the most valuable startups in Europe. The company houses 600 of its 1,100 employees in London and remains regulated since 2012 by the U.K. regulator the Financial Conduct Authority, smaller offices are based in Paris, Berlin and San Francisco.
Pousaz, who lives with his family in Dubai, dropped out of college after failing his economics finals and founded Checkout.com in 2012 after a spell surfing in California. This latest funding round pushes Pousaz into the world’s 100 richest people, according to Forbes. Pousaz is the only European tech entrepreneur among this upper echelon of wealth as many of Europe’s super-rich hail from dynastic global businesses like BMW, Chanel, Aldi, Lidl and L’Oréal.
Pousaz’s $23 billion stake in Checkout.com makes him richer than Telegram founder Pavel Durov, who’s worth an estimated $17.2 billion, and U.S.-based German entrepreneur Andreas von Bechtolsheim, whose $12.6 billion fortune stems from an early $100,000 investment in Google.
Additional reporting, Alex Konrad