2021: A year of growth, evolution and expansion
As the team at Checkout.com knows, I’m a big believer in continuous learning and improvement. And it’s in this spirit that I sat down to think about our progress over what was a remarkable year.
I’m grateful to our employees, merchants and partners—while conscious that we’re still just getting started, and there’s almost limitless opportunity ahead. I’m also conscious that we’ve done this against the backdrop of the pandemic.
As I write this, a number of countries are evaluating their response to the new variant. And as challenging as that continues to be, I’m proud of the way our employees have rallied during the last 12 months—whether by leaning in to help our merchants navigate the uncertainty and complexity of the market, or by partnering with their teammates to deliver great work. It hasn’t been easy, but we continue to get through this together.
When I think about the year, I tend to focus on three key areas: the growth of our business, the evolution of our platform, and the expansion of our team. And I wanted to focus on a few key highlights.
On the growth of our business, we started the year with our record-breaking Series C investment round. Not only did we add $450 million to our balance sheet to fund our expansion and innovation efforts, we also welcomed Tiger Global Management and Greenoaks Capital to our family of investors. They joined Insight Partners, DST Global, Coatue Management, GIC, Blossom Capital, and Endeavor Catalyst as steadfast supporters of our mission.
Since then we've tripled our global processing volumes for the third year in a row, added a host of new merchants in key countries, and continued to make progress with our broad spectrum of ecosystem partners. And we saw particular success in the Middle East and North Africa, where we posted almost 75% YoY growth after expanding our services to enterprise merchants in nine regional markets.
On the evolution of our platform, product and solution portfolio, in June we welcomed the 110-strong Estonia-based Icefire team to the company. Our Tallinn colleagues' outstanding track record of building modular financial systems over the past 18 years is proving deeply complementary to our overall platform evolution.
We also launched Payouts, enabling merchants to send funds to billions of cards and bank accounts globally via a single integration. It’s all part of our approach to change the way that money moves in and out of businesses. And it’s already being used by many of our enterprise merchants around the world.
On the expansion of our team, we added nearly 1000 new people in 2021 alone, bringing Checkout.com to more than 1600 people representing 150+ nationalities in 19 countries. We opened new operations in New York, Spain, Estonia, China, Saudi Arabia and Ireland. And we upgraded or expanded our existing presence in multiple major markets including Dubai, Germany, London, Singapore and San Francisco.
Of note, several of this year’s hires were significant additions to our executive leadership team–a key priority for me as we continue to grow the business. We welcomed Nick Worswick and Ott Kaukver as chief revenue officer and chief technology officer respectively in January. We then added Céline Dufétel as chief financial officer in August. Leela Srinivasan joined as our first chief marketing officer in September, and Kerry Van Voris as chief HR officer shortly after. And we added Meron Colbeci as chief product officer just last week to round out the executive bench. Having such a diverse team of extraordinary leaders by my side—and an incredibly strong team under them—is humbling and energising in equal measure.
I’ve also long said that we aspire to be a business that sits at the intersection of doing well and doing good—it’s part of our DNA. This year we formalized our efforts to give back through the launch of CKO Impact, which is our commitment to making a difference in communities where we live and work. We also announced our pledge to be carbon neutral—and removed 6,500 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere, offsetting all our historical carbon emissions since we were founded.
As we look ahead to 2022, we know that we still have ample opportunity to realize our vision and continue along this exciting journey. And as I think about the year, a few key areas come to mind.
We’ll continue striving for gender balance. We’ve reached gender parity on the executive team but we know we still have much to do across our broader workforce. We’re committed to full transparency in this area, and as leaders in fintech we’re focused on steadily improving gender balance throughout the organisation.
We’ll increase our level of focus in order to do our best work. That means becoming best-in-class in the countries in which we already operate—with a particular focus on our rapidly growing business in the US. It means continuing to expand and enhance our core platform and solutions portfolio so that we can be the most effective, responsive and engaged partner to our enterprise merchants and prospects. And it means building on the first-mover advantage we’ve had in the multi-trillion dollar cryptocurrency and digital-asset market.
We’ll also continue our relentless focus on merchants and the communities they serve. Whether that be by expanding our product offering, or ensuring we can continue to serve Web3 as their leading provider.
With that, I want to thank our customers, partners and employees for making this our best year yet. I may not have a functioning crystal ball, but I can tell you that 2022 promises to be another fast-paced and exhilarating year for Checkout.com.
Here’s to all the progress that lies ahead.