European innovation in online payments was rated the lowest in the world in a report by Anthemis, owing to the region’s “stranglehold of regulation of a fragmented payments landscape and the overhang of the banking crisis.” Despite this, Business Insider analyst John Heggestuen predicts that, in 2014, “the payments industry will consolidate and mature at a rapid pace.”
France has long been a roadblock to European payments innovation, with a high time-to-market and reluctance for homegrown entrepreneurs to test their innovations out on their local market. However, Leetchi.com has bucked this trend. Since its November 2009 inception, the Paris-based firm, an online money collection platform, has won the plaudits of many of technology’s big names. Wired magazine named it the best French startup of 2013, while TechCrunch said that Leetchi is “the leader in social payments.”
“When I created Leetchi.com in 2009,” says CEO of Leetchi and MANGOPAY Céline Lazorthes, “I dreamt of having this kind of solution in my hands!”
In 2013, the $7.9 million VC-backed company was looking for a new challenge. It already had 500,000-plus users on its site and had launched an iPhone app. The company, which employs 26 people in Paris and Luxembourg, is backed by groups such as Kima Ventures and 360 Capital Partners.
And so, in seeking that new test, MANGOPAY was born. “A full stack online payment solution, MANGOPAY is the result of Leetchi having become an official European electronic money institution in December 2012, used to power their B2C social payments solution,” says Rude Baguette’s Liam Boogar.
MANGOPAY launched in April of last year, with 30 clients including Zenwego and Payplug, charging 1.8% plus $0.24 per transaction, putting its fees in line with competition like Paypal and Stripe. “I will be curious to see whether MangoPay’s differentiation and vertical focus will allow it to gain major traction – namely, whether their verticals are really in need of a vertical-specific online payments solution,” adds Boogar. “But, for now it seems, they’ve got a pretty unique positioning.”
MANGOPAY, headquartered in Luxembourg, offers users a clear and easy-to-use interface, and offers payments in eight currencies: the Euro, British pound, U.S. dollar, Swiss franc, Polish zloty, and the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish krone. The Australian and Canadian dollar will both soon be added to its repertoire. MANGOPAY is a ‘white label’ solution, meaning that users issue e-wallets to clients themselves. A number of payment methods are accepted including Visa, Mastercard, Giropay, ELV, and IDEAL. “New features include in-app payment using card ‘tokenisation’, which allows merchants to receive payments without users leaving their platform,” writes TechCrunch. “It also has new open source development kits to make integration easier.”
By February, the company had accrued 150 clients across Europe. Last year, MANGOPAY handled over $67 million in payments in the year of its foundation. That number is expected to rise significantly this term. And with financial technology firms now thriving across Europe – especially in the UK and Ireland (London-based Currency Cloud, which works with MANGOPAY as a platform customer, has made headlines by processing $5 billion of international payments in just two years) – perhaps, finally, MANGOPAY can help some of that innovation drift across the channel.