Trustly to Double Staff as European Fintech Expansion Gains Pace

  • Swedish startup expects to have 260 employees in two years
  • Financial services has biggest potential among business areas

Trustly Group AB plans to double the number of employees in the next two years as the Swedish startup’s push to cut the middlemen from online payments and win banks as customers gains traction.

The company expects to have 260 employees in two years compared with 130 today, Chief Executive Officer Oscar Berglund said in an interview in Stockholm. Trustly is currently advertising some 15 positions, he said.

The hiring boost follows the expansion to 21 new markets in Europe last year, which extended Trustly’s business to all of the 28 European Union countries plus Norway. Last year, the company managed 14 million transactions, and doubled the total value of payment transactions to 15.9 billion kronor ($1.85 billion). Revenue jumped 85 percent to 187.4 million kronor. Berglund expects growth to continue, but at a slower pace.

The company’s technology lets online shoppers pay using a direct link to their accounts via their internet bank, cutting out middlemen such as card and e-wallet providers. It sees the biggest potential within financial services, enabling customers to transfer money between accounts at different banks in real time.

“The traditional bank payments that are made in such great volumes today are a disaster from a user-experience point of view,” Berglund said. “We see great potential in making it easier and more comfortable for the customers.

Trustly focuses on e­-commerce, travel, financial services and gaming and may add so-called digital goods, which includes subscription services and virtual items purchased while playing games on apps, Berglund said. Target customers include all 500 million people in Europe who could have access to an online bank account. Existing clients include Swedish online gaming company Betsson AB, PayPal Holdings Inc., Avon Products Inc. and Western Union Co.

The CEO is confident Trustly can win over large banks, based on feedback from existing clients such as Avanza Bank AB and Nordnet AB. “I believe it’s just a matter of time before the big banks come as well,” Berglund said.

Berglund sees no need currently for external equity financing or a initial public offering, though that could be an option in the longer term, he said.

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