In Europe where tech IPO candidate Square does not operate, there is a heated race between several venture-backed upstarts in the mobile payments arena.
Three of the mobile payments operators jockeying for position in Europe are iZettle, Payleven and SumUp. Each offers a wireless chip-based solution paired with a mobile app and each are backed by notable strategic investors including American Express Ventures, BBVA Ventures, Banco Santander, Groupon and Silvio Burlusconi’s family office, B Cinque. Together, the three mobile payments processors have raised over $80M in funding as shown below.
Interestingly, American Express Ventures has invested in 2 direct competitors in iZettle and SumUp.
To get a better sense of how the three respective payments firms are faring against each other, we turned to CB Insights’ data tracking over 1M mobile apps in the iTunes App Store. Interestingly, despite iZettle’s wide financing advantage, SumUp leads the three based on the number of total countries with an app ranked by primary genre in the App Store Top 1000 as of January 7, 2014.
Among the countries where all three of the apps are competing for foothold is Germany. In fact, both Rocket Internet-incubated Payleven and SumUp were founded in Berlin. Within Germany, during Q4 2013, we see Sweden-based iZettle running close to SumUp, the market leader in Germany among the three, and we see Payleven is several notches below the two across the entire time period. iZettle signed two huge partnerships in 2012 with DZ Bank and Deutsche Telekom to make a push in Germany so it will be interesting to see if those can catapult iZettle above SumUp, and if Payleven can close the gap with its two in-market peers.
It’s clearly an important market for these firms as evidenced by iZettle CEO Jacob de Geer comments:
“Strategically, Germany is one of our core markets, and we are committed to serving everyone from individuals to small businesses here long term…Our ambition is to become the undisputed market leader in Germany.”
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