Amidst a crisis-ridden year, fintech services in the retail sector are experiencing a stark contrast in fortune as multiple unicorns emerge from a period of economic difficulty. The latest to benefit from the rapid digitization of business and spending is Dutch payments startup Mollie, founded by Adriaan Mol in 2004.
In a Series B funding round led by Silicon Valley growth fund and Netflix-backer TCV, Mollie raised $106 million, bringing the company’s valuation to just over $1 billion. This is the company’s second funding round since its inception, and last year it raised $29.5 million. Despite its seemingly under-the-radar presence in the funding world, Mollie is said to have processed almost €10 billion in transactions this year, representing 100% growth in one year with markets in Germany growing by 1000%.
Mollie bears the nickname of its founder, who is dubbed “Mollie” by his friends. The startup offers a simple, API-based way to integrate payments into a site or an app. Its creation is said to be Mol’s solution to a market of sub-par payment offerings that were too difficult to use. Currently, it serves 100,000 merchants—including major names like Wickey, Deliveroo, TOMS, and UNICEF—and customers are based mainly in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany. Ken Serdons, CCO at Mollie shared that, “payments is a market that will continue to grow but it’s very fragmented, we believe we have an opportunity to differentiate because of our super-local approach.”
The Amsterdam-based startup operates in the same space as its big competitors Stripe and Adyen, against whom it vies for small- and medium-sized businesses across the continent of Europe and beyond. Despite the fierce competition, Mol believes that Mollie differentiates itself in two ways: it offers localized payment offerings in what remains a very fragmented market (where currently, consumers’ and merchants’ payment method preferences vary from country to country), and it provides quick and simple integration, streamlining the payment process and minimizing shopping cart abandonment.
Mollie’s sudden growth and ease of use made it a winner in the eyes of TCV. Of the funding, John Doran, a partner of TCV said, “It’s so easy that a kid could use it. The idea is to build the Apple of the payments world.” TCV’s principal Muz Ashraf further shared, “We have been tracking Mollie for some time now, and believe it has built a product that is frictionless, highly developer-friendly and very localized.”