Wednesday 11 January 2017 3:08 pm

Here's what iZettle had to say about an IPO

Digital payments startup iZettle has landed further funding from top investors which values the Swedish firm at more than half-a-billion dollars and hired a finance chief, fuelling speculation of an IPO.

But, the six-year-old startup which provides payment services for small merchants, said a public offering is just one option in the companies future and a decision has yet to be made.

€60m of fresh equity, extending its series D round of €60m in August 2015, came from exiting investors along with debt financing from Victory Park Capital's credit fund VPC Speciality Lending.

Read more: Canadian tech unicorn Hootsuite just came a step closer to an IPO

Maria Hedengren has been named finance chief to "lead preparations for the processes and financial plans required to take iZettle into its next phase" the company said.

Founder and chief executive Jacob de Geer told City A.M. that next phase has not yet been decided, but there are three options on the table.

"One could be an IPO in the next 18 to 24 months," he said.

"The second would be merger or acquisition. That's not something we are actively doing now, but we could see it with consolidation and the industry maturing."

The third option is continuing to grow the company depending on "further expansion of capital in future."

He said the hire of Hedengren from Stockholm listed online gaming firm NetEnt "ticks many of the boxes for us going forward as a company".

iZettle's biggest of its 12 markets is now the UK after overtaking the Nordics last year.

De Geer said it has yet to see any impact from the Brexit vote and was confident that entrepreneurship and the number of people choosing to start their own business will continue to grow despite the decision.

Typically iZettle is used by small businesses with between one and 10 employees. It offers card readers that can be used with mobiles and tablets, sales reports tools as well as financing.

It has also expanded into funding for small business with iZettle Advance, providing cash advances based on sales predictions made using the software in the last seven to eight months in the UK.

"For us that's one of the more groundbreaking things we've launched. We're assessing risk on something completely different to banks – actual sales performance," he said.

Read more: The mobile payments battle just intensified in the UK

"We can mitigate risk in completely different way and serve new segments who can't find funding elsewhere"

The debt financing will go toward expanding the service and the rest of the funding will be spent on growing other parts of the business as well as entering new markets. It is "still assessing" whether to enter the US.

"Time will tell," said de Veer, pointing towards big change in terms of the country moving to chip and pin last year, "but the flip side is it's fierce with Square and Paypal" in terms of competition. Further expansion in Europe would also "make sense".

Square, the US payments startup run by Jack Dorsey, last year set up shop in the UK as did Canada's Shopify

​For now, de Geer said iZettle will continue to pursue "aggressive growth", including acquisitions, as it reaches maturity: "It's a bit of growing up."