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Adyen Is the $2 Billion Payments Startup You’ve Never Heard Of (Unless You’re a Payments Nerd)

The company says it generated a profit on $350 million in revenue in 2015.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Adyen is not a household name in U.S. business circles, even with a $2 billion-plus valuation. It hopes that opening up about its financial performance will help change that.

The privately held payments company, which has its headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands, announced Thursday that its revenue doubled to $350 million last year, as the company crossed $50 billion in the amount of payments it processed. The company says it has been profitable on an Ebitda basis — a measure of a company’s operating profit — since 2011.

“The media is more familiar with people like Stripe and others in the U.S.,” said Kamran Zaki, Adyen’s North America chief, on why the company is taking an untraditional tack for a private firm by publicly disclosing its revenue. “We want to get our brand name out there and … show we’re at a pretty sizable scale.”

Adyen is 10 years old and was built to help online businesses in Europe accept a variety of payment methods, including credit cards. A few years ago, it started pitching European retailers and fashion brands on using its software to accept payments in their brick-and-mortar stores, too. Now, today’s financial disclosures come as the company begins courting U.S. retailers to also use its in-store payment tools.

The company’s pitch centers on the idea that retailers can get a better understanding of their customers if both online and in-store purchases run through the same payments platform. And with that information, retailers can more easily provide services such as “buy online” and “pick up in store.” The company also has a more global footprint, thanks to its European roots, than a host of competitors.

These attributes have led to some big-name investors buying in. General Atlantic led a $250 million investment in Adyen at a $1.5 billion valuation a little over a year ago. And last year, Iconiq Capital, which manages the fortunes of wealthy tech titans including Mark Zuckerberg, invested an undisclosed sum that valued Adyen at $2.3 billion.

If Adyen succeeds in building big businesses in both online and brick-and-mortar payments, it would differentiate itself from better-known payments companies such as Square, Stripe and PayPal-owned Braintree. Adyen’s payment volume of $50 billion in 2015 matches Braintree’s, and is significantly bigger than both Square and Stripe’s numbers. It’s not a direct apples-to-apples comparison, however, because the latter two get a bigger cut from each dollar they process.

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