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Naspers unit PayU buys Turkish digital payments start-up

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Naspers’ subsidiary PayU has acquired iyzico – a Turkish-based digital payment and fintech start-up company in Turkey – for $165 million.

The acquisition, which adds to the over $500 million PayU deployed across fintech investments and M&A, is a further step in the company’s mission to become the leading payments provider in high growth markets and the world’s leading fintech investor, PayU says in a statement.

It adds that the acquisition will allow PayU to consolidate its position as a leader in the payments space and accelerate scale and efficiency in Turkey, where there is a huge growth opportunity for e-commerce and online payments.

According to PayU, even though e-commerce in Turkey has been growing stably of over 10% each year, it is still in its infancy with a share in total sale less than 5%.

It points out that the SME opportunity alone is significant with potential for 10 times expansion over the next few years.

Today only 5% of SMEs in Turkey have an online sale presence but, also thanks to government programmes favouring digitalisation, the percentage is expected to increase, representing a large opportunity for enablers such as e-commerce marketplaces and payment processors, PayU says.

Founded in 2013, iyzico provides secure payments to over 300 marketplaces (with over 400 000 personal sellers of different sizes) as well as 30 000 online merchants which are using its checkout solution.

Amazon, Nike, H&M and Zara are among the brands which have chosen iyzico as a partner in Turkey.

Complementing PayU’s own digital offering, the deal will allow PayU to not only strengthen its presence in Turkey and accelerate its SME business with iyzico’s automated solutions but facilitate building an “online bridge” between Turkey and Central and Eastern European Countries countries and Africa to encourage more cross-border trade in local currencies in the region, the Naspers unit says.

Laurent le Moal, CEO of PayU, comments: “PayU has acquired iyzico in a landmark move to deliver on our mission of local consolidation and becoming the number one payments provider in every high growth market we operate in. We are delighted to welcome founders Barbaros, Tahsin and the wider iyzico team to PayU as we integrate this high growth business in a key step on our journey to becoming the world’s number one fintech investor.”

Barbaros Özbuğutu, co-founder and CEO of iyzico, adds: “In 2013, we founded iyzico with the goal to enable SMBs all over Turkey to accept online payments, an endeavour that turned into a team of 150 and billion Turkish liras of transaction volume.

“And today we join forces with PayU, a leading global fintech operator and investor with a strong heritage and track record in payments in high growth markets. We look forward to joining the PayU team and working alongside highly skilled experts in payments, strengthening the company’s leading position in Turkey and beyond.”

PayU notes that the deal has been made against a backdrop of a positive outlook for the Turkish market in terms of ecommerce, online payments, bank-led digital payments and a sizeable SME opportunity.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in the next few months. 

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