October 21, 2018 / 11:24 PM / 23 days ago

Goldman-backed fintech startup Marqeta launches in Europe

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Marqeta, a U.S. financial technology startup that helps young companies including digital-only banks issue payment cards, has expanded into Europe, the company said on Sunday.

The company will service the region from London, where it has hired at team of five and signed up new clients, it said.

Backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and Visa Inc (V.N), Marqeta has developed a platform that it says makes payment card issuing and processing simpler and more efficient for businesses.

It is expanding in Europe through its partnership with Visa.

Marqeta’s U.S. clients include some of the most well-known new entrants in finance such as Square Inc (SQ.N), the payments company founded by Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) CEO Jack Dorsey, and Affirm, the lending startup led by PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O) co-founder Max Levchin. It also works with Alipay, the payments business spun out of China-based technology company Alibaba Group Holding (BABA.N).

Britain and the rest of Europe are a promising market because of the growing cohort of young digital-only banks and fintech startups based there, Marqeta’s founder and CEO Jason Gardner said in an interview at an industry conference in Las Vegas.

“We have invested an enormous amount of resources in tech and operations, and have been quietly building a presence there,” Gardner said.

While the company plans to open another office somewhere else in the region, Gardner said the UK’s decision to leave the European Union had not been a concern when picking its first base in Europe.

New entrants in the banking and payments market, such as financial technology startups and challenger banks, have acquired a larger share of industry revenues in the UK than their counterparts in the U.S. and the rest of Europe, according to a report by Accenture.

In the UK new entrants have secured 14 percent of the total €206 billion ($238.45 billion)in industry revenues, compared to the 3.5 percent the total $1.04 trillion captured in the U.S., according to the report.

Founded in 2010, Marqeta has raised a total of $116 million in venture capital, most recently in a round led by Iconiq Capital with participation from Goldman Sachs.

Reporting by Anna Irrera; editing by Grant McCool

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