The Prague-based ‘buy-now-pay-later’ platform Twisto has been acquired by the Australian fintech company Zip. Founded in 2013 by Michal Smida, Twisto has already processed more than 13 million payment transactions. The Czech fintech company raised funding from investors like ING Bank, UNIQA Ventures, Elevator Ventures, Finch Capital, Kaya, and Velocity Capital Fintech Ventures.
Zip, which also invested in Twisto earlier this year, has agreed to purchase the outstanding shares for about €89 million. The acquisition deal is expected to conclude in Q4 of this year, and founder and CEO Michal Smida, as well as most of the Twisto team, will stay on board.
Just a few months ago, Sydney-based Zip launched in the UK, and with the acquisition of Twisto the company is now ready to expand across Europe. As part of the acquisition, Zip also gains access to Twisto’s MasterCard membership with a primary issuing license and partnership with payment solutions provider Marqeta.
Twisto founder and CEO Michal Smida stated: “We’re excited to join the global Zip team to take advantage of the significant European opportunity and to continue to develop innovative BNPL solutions. There is a massive opportunity in Europe as BNPL follows the global trend with a shift away from the unfriendly world of credit cards. Being part of Zip’s global platform will allow us to accelerate growth, expand to new markets, win global merchants operating in Europe, leverage global partnerships already in place and broaden our product offering.”
A surge in online shopping during the global pandemic and the growing appetite for instalment payments have led ‘buy-now-pay-later’ firms to explore new markets to stay ahead of each other as well as to gain market share of traditional financial firms such as PayPal.
As part of their global expansion, Zip also just acquired and the United Arab Emirates-based fintech startup Spotii.
Regarding those recent acquisitions, Larry Diamond, Zip co-founder and CEO, commented: “There is a large untapped opportunity to bring BNPL to emerging markets where cash on delivery remains a significant merchant challenge, and where the digitisation of retail accelerates.”