Silicon Valley-Backed Payments Processor Adyen Weighs an IPO

Updated on
  • Dutch startup speaking to advisers about a potential listing
  • Iconiq Capital invested in 2015, valuing Adyen at $2.3 billion

Pieter van der Does, chief executive officer of Adyen BV.

Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg

Adyen BV, a fast-growing Dutch payments company backed by Silicon Valley billionaires, is considering an initial public offering as early as next year, according to people familiar with the matter.

The startup, whose more than 4,500 customers include eight of the 10 biggest U.S. internet companies as well as several large retailers, is speaking to advisers about a potential listing, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. No final decisions have been made and the firm could choose to stay private for longer, the people said.

“Eventually we think this company should be in the public markets,” said Adyen Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Pieter van der Does. He said Adyen hasn’t selected bankers or targeted an IPO date, but declined to discuss further details. The company’s private investors aren’t pushing to cash out their holdings because the company, unlike some fast-growing tech startups, is profitable -- and therefore doesn’t need to keep asking for additional funding, he said Thursday.

Iconiq Capital, a multifamily wealth management firm whose investors have included Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter Inc. co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey, invested in Adyen in 2015, valuing it at $2.3 billion at the time. The 11-year-old company, while not a household name, has quietly grown to handle $90 billion in transactions last year. It’s competing in a crowded market with PayPal Holdings Inc. and Stripe Inc. among others.

With revenue of $727 million in 2016, almost doubling the amount from a year earlier, Adyen could command a high valuation when it lists. Financial transaction service providers globally trade at an average price to earnings multiple of about 24 times, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Companies in Europe have raised about $63 billion from IPOs this year, up from $42 billion in a similar period in 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Several issuers including German truck-brake manufacturer Knorr-Bremse AG and Spanish developer Testa Residencial Socimi SA are lining up listings for next year.

Adyen’s clients include Uber Technologies Inc., L’Oreal SA, and Burberry Group Plc, according to its website. Other investors in the company include Singapore’s state-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte and General Atlantic LLC.

European payments companies continue to be in demand as consolidation gathers pace globally in the fast growing industry. Vantiv Inc. agreed to buy e-commerce payments company Worldpay Group Plc for about 8 billion pounds ($10.7 billion) in August. And U.S. private equity firm Hellman & Friedman LLC agreed to buy Nets A/S for about $5.3 billion the following month.

Adyen’s Van der Does quashed speculation from earlier this year that the company could be acquired by PayPal or another competitor. "We see ourselves as an independent company," he said.

(Updates with IPO volumes in sixth paragraph.)
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