Lena Hackelöer/Brite Payments
Brite Payments secures $60m raise to accelerate instant payments in Europe
Led by Dawn Capital, backers of Tink and iZettle, the raise is the first significant cash investment for the fintech
Brite Payments, a Swedish fintech powering instant payments in Europe with open banking, has secured $60m in funding.
Founded in 2019 by CEO Lena Hackelöer, who previously spent more than six years at Klarna, Brite offers businesses instant account-to-account (A2A) payments and payouts.
The fundraise was led by Dawn Capital and saw participation from Headline and existing investor Incore, and follows a year of growth for the company — it recently surpassed 100 employees and now operates in 25 markets across Europe through 3,800 banks, reaching more than 350 million end consumers.
In 2022, the fintech more than doubled its transaction volume and revenue, and even reached profitability — though “just barely”, Hackelöer joked in an interview with AltFi.
Luckily, the fintech did not have to raise last year, and instead was able to focus on a big push to grow the company, but positive investor dialogues sowed the seeds for a round this year when the environment wasn’t quite so challenging.
“We spent most of last year just having high level dialogues with some of the folks that have reached out to us and getting to know people, basically, in preparation for a future round,” Hackelöer said.
“Earlier this year, when we started having more serious conversations around a fundraise we learned there was quite a lot of interest. And I think we were fortunate that we became a much more attractive investment target, because we actually stopped burning money last year.”
Having not raised last year, the company ended up raising more than expected in what marks the first substantial raise for the company.
It has previously received some seed funding from early backers and angels but has been predominantly self-funded up until now.
“We are on the cusp of open banking 2.0. The prospect of real-time account-to-account payments becoming mainstream across Europe is on the horizon, and Brite stands to be the category leader,” Dawn Capital general partner Josh Bell said.
Bell added that he thinks Brite is on an “equally stellar path” to Dawn Capital’s previous fintech investments, iZettle, which sold to PayPal for $2.2bn, and Tink, which was acquired by Visa for $2bn.
Brite plans to use the funds to increase on its growth trajectory, increasing the size of its team, both in terms of specific roles like engineers and developers, and also in terms of location.
Hackelöer said she hopes to make product development more parrallel, and to get more people on the ground across the 25 countries the fintech is currently operating in.
Alongside accelerating its geographic and team expansion, Brite will use the capital to further develop its instant payments network, which provides 24/7 instant processing, year round and launched in May.
The network uses open banking to provide what it describes as an “out-of-the-box” payments solution.
“There's been a lot of talk about open banking payments for a couple of years now and we've seen signs of this accelerating, but I would say 2023 is really the year where the awareness for A2A has really leapfrogged,” Hackelöer said.
“The UK is of course a very mature market, but other European markets haven’t quite woken up to the benefits of A2A to the same extent yet, and we’re really starting to see the signs now that this is going to become a much, much larger phenomenon.”
Over the next five years, A2A payments are expected to record double-digit annual growth.