We still see regular updates on the calamitous fallout of the 2020 collapse of Wirecard, the now-insolvent fintech out of Germany that had built an elaborate house of cards on false accounting and murky business. Meanwhile, some of the assets from that operation, now under new ownership, appear to be in growth mode.
NomuPay — a unified payments business formed by VC Finch Capital out of its 2021 acquisitions of Wirecard assets, specifically local licenses, across Turkey and Asia Pacific (specifically Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand), as well as separate businesses like Cardinity out of Lithuania (also known as Click2Sell) to cover European licenses — says that it has now raised $53.6 million, funding that it is using to continue expanding its operations, and building more integrations and other functionality into its API.
The $53.6 million is being called a Series A by the company in a press release, but in an interview with TechCrunch, CEO Peter Burridge described the figure as more of an aggregate of what NomuPay has raised to date: Finch’s initial acquisition of different assets came with an initial capital investment, and it was the sole owner of the new business at that point. Since then, management, unnamed individual investors, and a separate firm called Outpost Ventures (part of Neuberger Berman), have also invested, giving them also stakes in the business.
Outpost and Finch co-led NomuPay’s most recent tranche of about $15 million, and Burridge said the plan is to raise more — in his words a “proper raise” — soon. Today is the first time that the startup is announcing the details of any of this funding.
NomuPay was quietly being formed from 2021, but it launched its first commercial product — a unified payments platform for making and taking payments that is gateway-agnostic and that works with whatever payments infrastructure the business already uses — at the end of 2022 and says it is now active in 20 countries. Burridge declined to disclose any specifics on the size of its active business, but customers and partners include regional operations for Spotify, Ikea, Facebook and hospitality payments specialist Planet.
That gives an idea of NomuPay’s target customers: merchants and other online businesses that need to make and take payments (that is, payment acceptance and payouts) across international markets. Its core product is an API that businesses can use to get around the difficulties of having to negotiate and integrate the many different, fragmented payment methods and processes a business needs to have in place when transacting in across borders. NomuPay’s unified payments platform competes against the likes of Stripe, PayPal and Adyen, but also PPRO, Payoneer, and many others.
It is indeed a crowded market, but also a big enough one that Burridge believes there is room for more payment companies to meet the demand.
“Payments is still a problem that needs to be solved,” he said. “We are building new rails to do that.”
Burridge can say something that lofty with some authority because he has a long history in the world of fintech, and specifically the messier aspects of cross-border payments. He was the longtime president and COO of HyperWallet, which was acquired by PayPal to build out its global payouts operation, a business he led for PayPal as well. Previous to that, Burridge also worked for years at Travelex; and before his foray into FX, he spent a long time at Oracle and Siebel so has a pretty strong background in CRM and how to build B2B services directed at customer needs.
“While card schemes [like Mastercard or Visa] have created ubiquity, it’s [still] hard to expand globally,” he said. “For example, if I go to Turkey, I still need to open a merchant account and work with another acquirer and pay local rates and local fees. The issue globally is that cross border acceptance rates are still very poor.”
While there is a clear link between Wirecard and the formation of NomuPay — and one might even think that there are some services and customers that have carried over, since Wirecard in its heyday offered unified payments as one part of its fintech stack before it went bust — Burridge is very specific to say that the acquisition was made to pick up local licensing, which can be expensive and time-consuming to negotiate in multiple markets.
Finch’s strategy, he said, was to get “good licenses in hard-to-get-to places” after they spent time looking at the market and looking at payment methods to find the best gaps. He rolls his eyes at the mention of Wirecard fiasco and says that the technology, customers and all of the infrastructure beyond the licenses are all built by NomuPay itself, not using anything from Wirecard.
“We think of this more as a Disneyland pass to get to the front of the queue,” he said.
“Under the Leadership of Peter Burridge, NomuPay has made a series of licence acquisitions, and top level hires that has helped to take the company to the next level,” said Radboud Vlaar, managing partner of Finch Capital, in a statement. “On top of this, the company has built a Unified Payments Platform that unlocks local payment acceptance and payout disbursements in geographies that have long lacked a unified system, through a simple and single integration. We are very excited to see how NomuPay addresses the burning need of clients in these core markets.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with the deeply experienced team at NomuPay and be a partner with them in this next phase of growth,” added David Dubick, a partner at Outpost Ventures. “Throughout our conversations with NomuPay we’ve been continually impressed by the technological implementation of the uP Platform, its ability to solve a wide range of issues faced by enterprises and marketplaces in global payments, as well as their approach to distribution and the initial partners who are using the platform at scale.”