This piece is posted at TechCrunch and is basically a summary of the $90 million funding round for PPRO, the UK-based fintech that provides local payment infrastructure for online commerce. The release suggests that this makes PPRO the latest fintech unicorn.
The participants in this round were JP Morgan and Eldrige, a Connecticut PE firm. PPRO has been specializing in creating an easy path for e-commerce, especially cross-border, by localizing the payment types, which simplifies acceptance and makes things better for both buyers and suppliers. We recently covered this general area in member research.
‘PPRO’s core product is a set of APIs that e-commerce companies can integrate into their check-outs to accept payments in whatever local methods and currencies consumers prefer, removing the need for PPRO customers to build those complex and messy integrations themselves. Its business has boomed in the last year as one of the bigger providers of that localized payment technology, with transaction volumes up 60% in 2020 to $11 billion in processed payments.’
As most readers will know JP Morgan is a major player in the merchant services space, having combined Chase Merchant Services into the corporate bank in 2019 to further scale into broader payments services across the globe. So in addition to the investment aspect (the large banks have been injecting capital into the fintech space now for more than five years), this will likely include infrastructure collaboration to expand global acceptance capabilities, perhaps into non-traditional payment tools.
Given that the e-commerce space has seen some explosive growth during the pandemic, especially B2B, this would also seem like a logical path for further improvements. Keeping an eye out for developments in this fluid space.
‘“We are extending into payments and we are looking to double down on addressing the needs of our clients and their clients, which can be consumers, suppliers or marketplace sellers,” said Sanjay Saraf, managing director and Global Head of the Integrated Payments Group at JPMorgan Chase, in an interview. “That last mile becomes important from a customer service perspective.”‘
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group