SumUp strengthens US expansion with Fiverstars acquisition

UK-based payments processor SumUp has acquired Fivestars for $317m

SumUp logo on a smartphone                                 
SumUp is now entering the US fintech space with Fivestars – Photo: Shutterstock

UK-based payments processor SumUp has acquired marketing and loyalty firm Fivestars for $317m (£230m) in a mix of cash and stock.

The deal, which was announced in a company statement, marks SumUp’s first acquisition in the US to speed up the fintech’s expansion plans as it aims to rival competitors such as Square and PayPal.

San Francisco-based Fivestars operates a local commerce network and will integrate with SumUp’s platform to provide access to its 70 million consumer members and 12,000 small businesses.

Fivestars currently drives over $3bn in sales and 100 million transactions per year.

Digital payment processing

Founded in 2012, SumUp has a network of three million businesses in 34 markets and is best known for its credit card readers that allow businesses to accept digital payments. 

It shares several similarities with its European counterpart Zettle (formerly known as iZettle, and acquired by PayPal in 2018 for $2.2bn), although in recent years the two companies have branched out in different directions.

Marc-Alexander Christ, SumUp co-founder, believes that SumUp’s success is down to the core support it provides for small businesses.

“Our global community of merchants has battled through lockdowns and volatility and we’re confident that this acquisition will further energise the US’s recovering small business economy,” said Marc-Alexander Christ.

“Now is the time to make sure our presence is as strong in the US as it is in Europe and, by acquiring Fivestars, SumUp will deliver for US-based merchants as it has in other international markets,” he added.

Fivestars’ San-Francisco-based team, including its CEO and co-founder, Victor Ho, will be staying in their roles and continuing to operate Fivestars, the statement said. 

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