EMEA 60: Adyen Aims to Fast-Track Profitability in 2024 Once Hiring Spree Slows

With the Ukraine-Russia crisis, skyrocketing inflation and investor belt-tightening creating a challenging macroeconomic market in Europe, FinTech firms in the region — much like the rest of the world — have struggled to keep business afloat, resulting in massive headcount reductions and hiring freezes.

Many of these firms are included in the EMEA 60, PYMNTS’ selection of the 20 FinTechs that are leading the digital transformation of payments and commerce in each of the three regions — U.K./Europe, Middle East and Africa — as of December 2022.

PYMNTS researched 200-plus top FinTech companies across the three regions, ranking them by their estimated valuation and grouped in categories including payments, mobile wallets, neobanks, buy now, pay later (BNPL) and aggregators.

For Europe, payment companies including Adyen, Checkout.com and Revolut emerged among the top five, while others such as Klarna, N26, Monzo also made the top 20 list.

Amsterdam-based payments company Adyen ranked as the top firm in Europe and EMEA more broadly, with an estimated valuation of about $48 billion at the end of 2022.

The payments giant was one of a few to have bucked the trend of tech layoffs last year, choosing instead to continue a hiring spree in 2023. As reported by PYMNTS, the firm’s H2 2022 financial results published earlier this year show that that decision has put pressure on its profitability and stock market performance — a move it has justified as necessary due to operating at an increasingly global scale.

While earnings of €372 million (about $399 million) for the second half of 2022 represented a 4% increase from 2021, the company reported a 64% hike year over year in operating expenses to about €665.4 million (about $714 million) in 2022, causing its stock — already down 29% in the last year — to drop again at the time of the report.

“These increases were mainly driven by investments in growing our global team as we prepare to further scale,” the report stated, adding that it plans to slow hiring in 2024 when its team would have reached “its next maturity level.”

At that level, the firm will be betting on higher profitability, CEO Pieter van der Does recently told Bloomberg, projecting that the company’s profit margin will “trend in the other direction” once hiring slows.

The Dutch all-in-one payments processor is used by some of the world’s leading companies and delivers payments across online, mobile, and in-store channels through an end-to-end infrastructure connecting directly to Visa, Mastercard and other globally preferred payment methods. Among its customers are major U.S. companies including Microsoft, Subway, Levi’s and grocery delivery firm Instacart.

In a conversation with PYMNTS last year, the firm’s vice president of product, data and partnerships, Rehman Baig, discussed how retailers can better attract and retain customers.

“Today’s tech-savvy shoppers want more than just a sales pitch,” Baig said. “They want companies to understand them, allow them to shop on several different devices and, most importantly, they expect checkout and payment experiences to be seamless and frictionless, or they may decide to abandon the purchase or go to a competitor.”


For all PYMNTS EMEA coverage, subscribe to the daily EMEA Newsletter.