Payments platform PPRO bags $90m from JP Morgan, Eldridge, plans APAC expansion

PPRO, a leading global provider of payments infrastructure, has announced the raising of an additional $90 million from JPMorgan Chase and Eldridge Industries through a secondaries transaction, bringing its total fundraising this quarter to $270 million.

The company plans to expand its operations in Asia-Pacific, starting with Japan and India as both are “big markets” and countries “where international companies will need help navigating”, PPRO’s chief executive officer Simon Black told DealStreetAsia. It currently has offices in Singapore and China.

Black declined to say what the share of the Asia Pacific revenue is of its entire business, saying that it is the fast-growing part of its businesses. PPRO will likely hire around 100 in the region in the next two years, he added, with people in product management, engineering, and technical operations. It currently has 350 employees globally.

The platform had raised $180 million in January in the first phase of this quarter’s round from investors including Eurazeo Growth, Sprints Capital, and Wellington Management, lifting the London-based company to unicorn status. It declined to reveal how much it has raised in total since it was founded in 2006.

JPMorgan and Eldridge bought shares from existing shareholders in the latest round, Black said, declining to disclose who these existing shareholders are. Some of the investors that previously invested in PPRO include PayPal, Citi Ventures, and HPE Growth Capital.

“Alternative payments adoption is increasing rapidly across the globe. We are proud to become a strategic investor in PPRO as they work on their next phase of growth,” Sanjay Saraf, JPMorgan’s integrated payments group’s global head, said in a press release issued on Friday. Other startups the bank has invested in include US messaging platform Symphony and US cloud security firm Menlo Security.

Eldridge, the other investor in the latest round, is a private equity firm headquartered in the US with investments in multiple sectors including real estate, entertainment, and insurance — most notably in the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Eldridge brings a “really strong network” to PPRO, Black said, while JPMorgan will help to promote PPRO’s services to the merchants that sign up with the bank, particularly those in Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin-America.

PPRO helps payments processors and merchants accept local payment methods through its platform.

For example, a UK-based business may only be familiar with payments through credit cards or their local apps. But if it wants to enter the Asian market, it would need to accept a whole other set of payment methods such as Alipay and GrabPay that consumers here are familiar with — PPRO’s software helps to facilitate these transactions and allows consumers to pay in their preferred method. The company makes money by both taking a cut of each transaction and charging a subscription fee to users.

PPRO’s latest deal comes at a time when cross-border transactions are rising. According to an EY report, global cross-border transactions are tipped to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 5% between 2018 and 2022, hitting US$156 trillion by 2022.

“We’re in an era of a rapidly-growing international trade, especially e-commerce,” Black said, adding that the company has been profitable for the past five years.

PPRO claims to have processed more than $11 billion for its customers in 2020, including companies such as Mollie, PayPal and Worldpay.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.