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转投PayPal旗下,iZettle为什么放弃上市?

国际资讯基于互联网平台的金融业务

转投PayPal旗下,iZettle为什么放弃上市?

10天前,瑞典支付创企iZettle计划上市的消息引发了欧洲科技推动者的欢呼。

然而就在上周末,PayPal却宣布将以创纪录的22亿美元收购iZettle。

那么为什么iZettle会放弃上市计划,转而投向PayPal旗下呢?

首先,本轮收购的总额为22亿美元,收购成功后iZettle的市值可能借此超过11亿美元,而这样的高估值被认为是iZettle放弃IPO的第一个原因。

其次,iZettle联合创始人Jacob de Geer表示,iZettle选择被收购的另一个原因是因为与PayPal公司类似的文化背景和商业愿景。

再次,iZettle目前仅仅进入了12个国家市场,而PayPal市场覆盖规模则高达200个。依靠本次收购,iZettle能够更好更快地处理各种监管问题,以便融入更多国家市场。不过据了解,未来iZettle产品整合到PayPal销售点服务的具体模式目前尚未确定。

此外,IPO可能会给iZettle带来更大的风险。该公司今年的收入达到1.65亿美元,比去年同期增长60%,而亏损似乎在缩小。市场整体对其发展是看涨的。 5月8日,该公司宣布打算在瑞典证券交易所上市,计划融资2.27以美元,但仅提供了初步财务细节。事实上,在PayPal交易宣布之前,iZettle并未发布更详细的招股说明书(比如内部发售多少股票等等)。

据了解,iZettle目前已经累计融资1.5亿美元,其中仅去年12月就融资4700万美元。但是这1.5亿美元中,有至少8300万美元属于债务融资。也就是说,在偿还完债务、内部人员获得部分资金后,IPO并不太会给iZettle带来多少收入。

当然,iZettle当然是希望得到这笔资金的。去年,iZettle的美国竞争对手Square进入英国市场,并大谈特谈其在欧洲的“扩张”野心。

面对Square、PayPal在相关产业的巨大竞争,iZettle如果想要尽量少的财务资源赢得这场战斗的胜利,那么就必须孤注一掷保证IPO获得成功,而后续的平台持续增长和营收更是让人压力山大。

所以当PayPal抛出橄榄枝的时候,iZettle这样的反应似乎也并不令人感到意外。

 

The announcement just 10 days ago that Sweden’s iZettle was planning to go public provoked cheers among European tech boosters, but that excitement proved to be short-lived. Instead of celebrating the rise of an independent tech company, we’re watching yet another local startup be gobbled up by a U.S. tech giant.

In this case, the deep pockets belong to PayPal, which announced it is paying $2.2 billion for the Swedish fintech company. That price tag offers the first clue as to why iZettle took the money rather than pursuing the IPO, which was expected to give the payment company a valuation just north of $1.1 billion.

iZettle cofounder Jacob de Geer penned a note explaining the decision, ticking off the usual boxes about how the companies have similar cultures and visions and how the deal will allow iZettle to go further faster.

“By joining the PayPal family, we’ll become iZettle with superpowers and jump on a fast track to realise our vision,” he wrote. “The opportunity to become part of PayPal was too good to pass up. Not only because of what it means for iZettle and for iZettle’s employees, but because of what we can offer to our merchants.”

That may turn out to be true, though tech mergers as a whole typically tend to start off with such optimistic sentiments only to run into sobering realities. There’s always a chance that the iZettle-PayPal hookup will be an exception, but success is far from guaranteed.

Given that iZettle is in 12 countries compared to PayPal’s 200, the latter can certainly help it deal more quickly with the various regulatory issues needed to expand into new geographies. But just how iZettle will be integrated (or not integrated) with PayPal’s own competing point-of-sale payment services remains to be seen.

Still, the IPO likely posed even greater risks for iZettle. On May 8, the company announced its intention to list on the Swedish stock exchange but had only provided preliminary financial details. In fact, iZettle had not published a more detailed prospectus before the PayPal deal was announced.

Naturally, the numbers iZettle disclosed were bullish. The company is on track for $165 million in revenue this year, up 60 percent from a year ago, while losses appear to be narrowing.

With that momentum, the company had said it hoped to raise about $227 million with the IPO. But it hadn’t gotten around to detailing, for instance, how much of that might go to insiders who were selling shares, nor how much would go to the corporate treasury.

Speaking of which, iZettle raised a total of $150 million in venture capital over the years, including a round of $47 million just last December. But at least $83 million of that was debt funding. Between paying off that debt and possibly watching some money go to insiders, an IPO looked a lot less like a possible corporate windfall.

Of course, the company was itching to get its hands on that money, having watched another U.S. competitor, Square, enter the U.K. market last year and talk up its European ambitions. With a market cap of about $22 billion, Square likely had the brand awareness and financial resources to give iZettle a good run for its core point-of-sale market.

The prospect of battling Square and PayPal for the hearts and minds and wallets of retailers — and with far fewer financial resources —  meant iZettle executives would have had to do one hell of a selling job to make the IPO a success, let alone ensure the company would continue growing and reach profitability.

Big news – iZettle to join forces with PayPal. Becoming a part of the PayPal family will give us and our merchants an amazing opportunity to grow and expand. We’re so excited! Read Jacob’s thoughts on the news here: https://t.co/6Pc9eKOTKx pic.twitter.com/881a9TtzGq

— iZettle (@iZettle) May 17, 2018

So when PayPal came calling, it’s no surprise iZettle was willing to listen. The $2.2 billion price tag will certainly make this one of the biggest European deals to date, and it’s PayPal’s biggest acquisition by a huge margin, though PayPal has still not detailed how much of that figure is cash or stock, or whether it includes assumption of iZettle’s existing debts.

For iZettle’s part, the company appears to be retaining some independence, and de Geer will continue to run operations in Stockholm. But European tech boosters will have to be content with iZettle becoming yet another significant branch of a U.S. tech company.

“iZettle will become a center of excellence for PayPal’s in-store product and services offerings for small businesses going forward, which I’m really excited about,” de Geer wrote. “Creating a center of excellence in Stockholm with a global reach means a lot to me.”


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