The balance sheet strength created by these collective fundraises, together with our longstanding profitability further strengthens the company's resilience as a regulated entity in numerous markets and as the financial partner to its merchants. It also allows our business to continue to make strategic investments and drive innovative product developments, like the Checkout.com Payouts solution, which saw exponential growth in Europe over the last year, to ensure that we can deliver the future of digital payments for our merchants.
When the world paused - new priorities came into focus
2020 was an extraordinary year for many around the world including for our existing and new merchants who were forced, by virtue of the pandemic, to rapidly extend their global eCommerce capabilities. For some this meant revising business models, reassessing risk and rethinking how payments can play a crucial role in their long term profitability.
2020 was also a year of incredible change for the payments industry — witnessing years of change in the space of months. During this period we onboarded 500+ new merchants and saw our global volumes triple as a result of new economic activity transacting online for the first time. McKinsey* estimates that the reduction in cash seen in 2020 was four to five times the annual decrease in cash usage observed over the past few years. They also note in the first six months of the year, consumers spent $347 billion online with US retailers, up 30 percent from the same period in 2019 — corresponding to six times the annualized 2019 growth rate of online retail.
These changes have confirmed our longstanding conviction in the trend to online purchasing and accelerated a growing business demand for transformative online payment solutions that perform across all geographies and channels. As the power behind leading fintech and digital companies, like Coinbase, Grab, Klarna, and Farfetch, we have partnered to develop products that support ever more inventive business models in response to the changing economic environment. We have aimed to create product solutions that empower businesses to unlock the value of every transaction--local payment methods and authentication products that ensure the best customer experience--and which look at payments through a lens that considers how innovators move money in and out of their business with our Pay-to-Bank and Pay-to-Card offerings.
From strong foundations - constancy & resilience
2020 also brought huge change internally for Checkout.com. We added over 500 people bringing the total Checkout.com team to over 1000. We also grew to 17 offices, partly as a result of the acquisitions of Process Out and Pin Payments. This has included several key new hires in our senior management team and the appointment of country managers in many of our countries to enable increased localisation of our operations to facilitate the nuanced needs of our global merchant base.
We remain as focused as ever on profitable growth. We’ve been a profitable company since 2012 and whilst large funding rounds have significantly strengthened our balance sheet, we continue to focus on hiring well, being disciplined with our spending and maximising the use of all our resources. We also remain focused on sustainable geographic expansion, building long term partnerships and deepening our relationships with financial institutions and regulators around the world.
Finally we continue to place our merchants at the forefront of everything we do and every product we build. It is our mission to empower our merchants to change the world by reimagining the world of connected finance. We are here because there is a need for a better financial system that can unlock the potential of innovation and prosperity and we want to work with our merchants to achieve that change. Working through complex change requires insight and input from all those involved and we are grateful to our merchants for their thoughtful feedback, engagement and pioneering mentality needed to support this innovation.
United for our journey ahead
None of this would be possible without the Checkout.com team to whom I would like to extend my sincere thanks. I am sincerely grateful for your commitment to the business and our mission. As I have said many times, I’m a firm believer that a business is only as good as its people and we now number over 1000 having added over 500 people to the team in 2020. I am truly honoured to work with you all and very proud of what we have built so far.
Finally our values, #aspire, #excel and #unite are what have got us this far. Whilst our culture organically evolves, these values remain at the heart of our business and of our teams and we continue to ensure that the way we work both internally and externally reflects these. As we expand our team in number and location this remains at the forefront of my mind.
I’d like to end by welcoming Tiger Global Management and Greenoaks Capital to Checkout.com. They join Insight Partners, DST Global, Coatue Management, GIC, Blossom Capital, and Endeavor Catalyst; a group of investors who have added tremendous value to our business over recent years and remain steadfast in their untiring support for our mission.
Building a business like ours is an incredible privilege and I am grateful to all those of you who have shown your support over the last decade - our merchants, the Checkout.com team, our investors and all our other partners and our advocates. I am more excited than ever for what is still to come.
Peace & Power,