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Payments firm SumUp makes $317 million acquisition to expand in U.S.


On September 13, 2019, a SumUp customer used a SumUp card reader to pay his bill in Lisbon (Portugal).

Bloomberg via Getty Images| Bloomberg via Getty Images

LONDON — SumUp, a U.K.-based payment processor, has acquired marketing start-up Fivestars in a bid to expand its reach across the U.S. take on giants like PayPal and Square

On Thursday, the company announced that it would buy Fivestars in cash and stock for $317million. San Francisco-headquartered Fivestars helps merchants set up rewards schemes and promotions for customers.

SumUp was founded in 2012 and is most well-known for their small credit card readers, which allow small businesses to accept payments. SumUp also offers other payment options, such as the possibility for merchants set up online shops. There are more than 3 million merchants registered across Europe, Latin America and the U.S.

SumUp faces competition from Sweden’s iZettle acquired by PayPalIn 2018, also Jack Dorsey’sSquare. The rivalry between the big companies and the start-up is likely to grow as the company expands in the U.S. SumUp believes there is enough space for many different companies to coexist.

Andrew Helms (U.S. managing Director at SumUp), stated that “I believe where we excel and focus is on the smallest merchants.” “We are not seeking to enter enterprise. We’re also not moving more upstream.”

Helms claimed that there has been a shift of spending in the U.S. since the coronavirus epidemic. Payment options such as non-physical transactions and invoicing are seeing an increase in growth.

He said that “we are probably underestimating” the return to brick and mortar and in-store sales as Covid restrictions have been lifted. People are also meeting face-to-face again.

Crunchbase says that Fivestars previously raised $115m and had received support from Lightspeed Venture Partners as well as Menlo Ventures.

SumUp has since raised $1.4 billion of equity and debt funding. SumUp has received support from the likes Goldman SachsSingapore’s Temasek Capital and Bain Capital.

Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.