2010 Buyout Track 100
Rank: 1 Skrill
This London company’s online payment services have proved so popular that even eBay, which owns competitor PayPal, offers them as a payment option.
Moneybookers allows anyone with an e-mail address to securely and cost-effectively send and receive payments online. Merchants are charged a fee when they receive money from a customer via Moneybookers, and commission is paid on foreign currency exchanges. The company also charges customers a small fee when they withdraw funds.
60,000 merchants, ranging from small independent businesses to industry giants such as Skype and Thomas Cook use Moneybookers’ services. The company claims that 10.5m online shoppers use it to make payments, and that it gains 13,000 new users a day. It says it has processed €15.5bn worth of transactions to date, in 40 different currencies, with an annual transaction value of more than €3.5bn.
Moneybookers was founded in 2001 by non-executive directors Daniel Klein and Benjamin Kullmann, who also own venture capital firm Gatcombe Park Ventures. In 2007 Investcorp purchased a 51% stake in the company valuing the business at €105m, and in 2009 hoisted a for sale sign over it with a reported price tag of €400m.
In 2008 the company more than doubled its sales to £27.4m. And, regardless of Investcorp’s impending exit, it has continued to grow in the midst of the recession. In part, this has been due to thrifty European consumers taking advantage of the weak pound and seeking online bargains from British retailers. The company’s anti-fraud policy – where money is only transferred to merchants if the customer is satisfied with the goods received - has also allowed it to take market share from rivals.
With initiatives like its refer a friend program, the company is seeing a surge in its worldwide customer-base, particularly South East Asia. It is considering some small acquisitions to expand its services, and recently launched a Moneybookers Mastercard, which links directly to its customer’s payment accounts. Overseen by joint managing directors Nikolai Riesenkampff and Martin Ott, profits have grown 177% a year from £1.8m in 2006 to £13.9m in 2008.
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Online payment provider
|Profit growth||177.44% pa|
|Location of HQ||Central London|
* = annualised figure‡ = draft figure