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In Its Biggest Takeover Ever, PayPal Is Acquiring A Startup For $2.2 Billion


PayPal just clinched its biggest takeover ever.

PayPal, a U.S based electronic payment company just acquired a small Swedish business commerce startup iZettle, — the Stockholm-based payments provider commonly referred to as the “Square of Europe”. A European startup that sells mobile credit card readers and other payment platforms, for $2.2 billion as announced in a blog post.

iZettle was launched back in 2010 by Jacob de Geer and Magnus Nilsson in Stockholm. The startup was created with the aim of helping small businesses, and so far, it has reached out and empowered about half a million of merchants across 11 countries.

Stockholm-based iZettle is one of Europe’s best known fintech companies. Serving nine countries in Western Europe, as well as Brazil and Mexico, iZettle offers financial products for small businesses, including payments through smartphones.

The acquisition (the largest in PayPal’s history) comes only two weeks after iZettle announced its upcoming plans to IPO. This eleventh-hour change prompted iZettle’s CEO and cofounder Jacob de Geer to pen an explanation.

“Late in the IPO process, PayPal got in touch and showed a serious interest in iZettle,” he wrote. “By joining the PayPal family we’ll become iZettle with superpowers and jump on a fast track to realise our vision.”

iZettle expects to generate $165 million in revenue in 2018, with approximately $6 billion processed on its platform. Zouk Capital, Index Ventures and 83North are the company’s largest shareholders..

The deal — which is expected to close in Q3 2018 — will see iZettle’s co-founder and CEO Jacob de Geer stay on to lead iZettle. He will report to PayPal’s COO Bill Ready. Others in iZettle’s exec team will also stay on to run the business, which will become a “center of excellence” for in-store and offline payments in Europe, PayPal said.

Dan Schulman, PayPal President, and CEO commented on the acquisition saying:

We signed an agreement to acquire iZettle, the leading small business commerce platform in Europe and Latin America. This is the largest acquisition in our company’s history and significantly expand our in-store presence around the world, strengthening our platform to help millions of small businesses around the world grow and thrive in an omnichannel retail environment.”

Even after the closing of the deal, the founder of iZettle Jacob de Geer will still remain to lead the startup which will be operating under PayPal’s merchant services offering, and report to PayPal’s Chief Operating Officer Bill Ready.

PayPal has been expanding aggressively through acquisitions and partnerships with large banks and technology firms including Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co, Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc.

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