HomeFundingBerlin-based payments startup payleven announces additional funding

Berlin-based payments startup payleven announces additional funding

payleven, one of Europe’s ‘Square clones’ in the mobile payment sector, today announced that it secured additional funding at the end of 2012, to continue its strong growth in Europe and South America (Update – March 2023: The startup seems to be no longer in business under this website, and we therefore deactivated the original link).

The “high single digit USD million” amount comes largely from a new unnamed investor, who joins the existing group consisting of New Enterprise Associates, Holtzbrinck Ventures, ru-Net and Rocket Internet. The additional funding comes after an initial double digit investment last summer.

payleven turns a smartphone or tablet into a card terminal, enabling small businesses and mobile service providers to accept card payments everywhere – without any fixed costs or a complicated signup process. The startup has its headquarters in Berlin and London and was founded in March 2012. paylevens’ service is tailored to the needs of small and independent businesses with fair and transparent terms and conditions. Billing is solely transaction based – there is no minimum turnover or fixed fee. Transaction costs are as low as 2.75% of the transaction value in UK and Germany. All card payments can be accepted starting from £1.

The young company is under the leadership of co-founders Rafael Otero, Alston Zecha, Dr. Alexander Zumdieck as well as Konstantin Wolff and currently employs around 70 employees. The payleven service is already available in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, the UK, Poland and Brazil.

Co-Founder and CMO Konstantin Wolff commented: “We are thrilled to see our investor base grow, which reflects the excitement for the first Chip & PIN mobile point of sale (mPOS) in Continental Europe. We want to remain innovative, develop our product and accelerate the growth of our merchant base. The close partnership we have with our investors is key to achieve this.”

In Europe, Visa only allows mPOS payments with Chip & PIN authorization. With the
introduction of its Chip & PIN solution, payleven is the first company in Continental Europe to fulfill the high security standards required for a fully functional mPOS acceptance device. payleven has been working closely with Visa to ensure the right standards for its mPOS solution. payleven’s Chip & PIN solution works through a compact, secure device that links to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth. The PIN is entered on a keypad on the device. With Chip & PIN, transactions are as secure as with a traditional card terminal and therefore merchants are protected to the highest standards.

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Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr is the "Editor in Chief" of EU-Startups.com and started the blog in October 2010. He is excited about Europe's future, passionate about new business ideas and lives in Barcelona (Spain).


  1. According to co-founder Ian Marsh, roughly 70 percent of credit card transactions go through Visa, and although iZettle and other mPOS solutions like mPowa did find a way around Visa’s regulations, offering a web-based solution requiring several steps for customers to go through, payleven has been working closely with Visa to ensure it meets the right standards to launch a new solution to streamline the process. In February the company will be looking to launch a new Bluetooth-enabled card reader equipped with chip and pin technology that meets several regulatory standards: instead of a Square-like dongle that plugs into a smartphone’s headphone jack and is paired with a smartphone, it would let customers key in their pin number on the actual device.

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