We still see regular updates about the disastrous consequences of the 2020 collapse of Wirecard, the now-insolvent fintech from Germany that had built a complicated house of cards based on false accounting and shady business. Meanwhile, some assets of that operation, now under new ownership, appear to be in growth mode.
NomuPay — a unified payments company formed by VC Finch Capital from the 2021 acquisitions of Wirecard assets, especially local licenses, across Turkey and Asia Pacific (particularly Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand), as well as individual companies such as Cardinity from Lithuania (aka Click2Sell) to cover European licensing – says it has now raised $53.6 million, funding it is using to further expand its business and build more integrations and other functionality into its API.
The $53.6 million is called a Series A by the company in a press release, but in an interview with TechCrunch, CEO Peter Burridge described the figure more as a total of what NomuPay has raised to date: Finch’s first acquisition of several assets came with an initial capital investment, and it was the sole owner of the new company at the time. Since then, management, unnamed individual investors and a separate company called Outpost Ventures (part of Neuberger Berman) have also invested, giving them a stake in the company as well.
Outpost and Finch jointly led NomuPay’s most recent tranche of about $15 million, and Burridge said the plan is to raise more soon — in his words, a “proper raise.” Today marks the startup’s first time announcing the details of this funding.
NomuPay was quietly formed from 2021, but it launched its first commercial product in late 2022 — a unified payment platform for making and receiving payments that is gateway agnostic and works with any payment infrastructure the company already uses — and says it’s now up and running in 20 countries. Burridge declined to disclose details of the scope of its active business, but clients 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 receive payments (that is, payment acceptance and payouts) in international markets. The core product is an API that businesses can use to bypass the hassles of negotiating and integrate the many different, fragmented payment methods and processes a business needs when transacting cross-border. NomuPay’s unified payment platform competes with the likes of Stripe, PayPal, and Adyen, as well as PPRO, Payoneer, and many others.
It is indeed a busy market, but also so large that Burridge believes there is room for more payment companies to meet demand.
“Payments are still a problem to be solved,” he said. “We build new rails for that.”
Burridge can say something lofty with some authority because he has a long history in the world of fintech, and particularly 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 payout operation, a business he also ran for PayPal. Prior to that, Burridge also worked for Travelex for years; and before going to FX he worked at Oracle and Siebel for a long time, so he has a pretty strong background in CRM and building B2B services focused on customer needs.
“While card schemes (such as Mastercard or Visa) have created ubiquity, it is (still) difficult to expand globally,” he said. “For example, if I go to Turkey, I still need to open a merchant account and partner with another acquirer and pay local rates and fees. The problem worldwide is that the cross-border acceptance rate is still very low.”
While there is a clear connection between Wirecard and the creation of NomuPay – and one might even think that some services and customers have been transferred, since Wirecard was in its heyday offered uniform payments as part of its pre-bankruptcy fintech stack – Burridge is very specific in saying the acquisition was made to raise local licenses, which can be expensive and time consuming to negotiate across multiple markets.
Finch’s strategy, he said, was to “get good licenses in hard-to-reach places” after spending time watching the market and looking at payment methods to find the best gaps. He rolls his eyes at the mention of the Wirecard fiasco, saying that the technology, customers and all infrastructure outside of the licenses were all built by NomuPay itself and don’t use anything from Wirecard.
“We think of this more as a Disneyland pass to get to the front of the line,” he said.
“Under the leadership of Peter Burridge, NomuPay has made a series of top-tier licensing acquisitions and hires that have helped take the company to the next level,” Radboud Vlaar, managing partner of Finch Capital, said in a statement. “In addition, the company has built a Unified Payments Platform that unlocks local payment acceptance and payouts in regions that have long lacked a unified system through a simple and single integration. We are very excited to see how NomuPay is responding to the burning needs of customers in these core markets.”
“We are delighted to be working with NomuPay’s highly experienced team and partnering with them in this next phase of growth,” added David Dubick, a partner at Outpost Ventures. “During our conversations with NomuPay, we have been consistently impressed with the technology implementation of the uP platform, its ability to solve a wide range of problems faced by companies and marketplaces in global payments, as well as their approach to distribution and the initial partners using the platform at scale.”