Jacob De Geer with Robin Knox in Edinburgh (photo by Terry Murden)
PayPal has acquired iZettle, the Swedish mobile payments company which bought the Edinburgh firm IntelligentPOS in 2016.
iZettle sells a card-reader aimed at small businesses and the £1.6bn deal boosts PayPal’s in-store presence at a time when competition in the online payments sector is increasing.
The takeover comes less than three weeks after iZettle said it would list shares in Stockholm to help it raise money and expand.
The acquisition will mean PayPal has an in-store presence in 11 markets in Europe and Latin America.
iZettle was founded in 2010 by Jacob de Geer, a serial entrepreneur, who is regarded as one of the stars of Europe’s tech sector. It sells credit and debit card readers that can be plugged into smart phones and tablets.
It expanded with an e-commerce platform which tracks items such as sales and inventory for its customers.
In September 2016 the company acquired IntelligentPOS, founded in 2013 by Edinburgh business partners Robin Knox and Paul Walton who developed the UK’s first iPad and cloud-based point of sale application.
Commenting on the latest deal, PayPal president Dan Schulman said: “This combination brings together iZettle’s in-store expertise, recognised brand and digital marketing strength with PayPal’s global scale, mobile and online payments leadership, and trusted brand reputation.”
US-based Paypal was formerly part of eBay, but is now a standalone digital and mobile payments company. It claimed more than 200 million active customer accounts at the end of last year.
It owns the peer-to-peer payments company Venmo, which is popular in the US, and last year acquired Swift Financial, which makes business loans.
The firm said last month that it was considering additional acquisitions.
It is facing increased competition as more companies, including Apple and major banks, improve their digital offerings.
The tie-up with iZettle will increase PayPal’s capacity with firms with physical retail operations.