Adyen's Probably Touched Your Money At Some Point | Summary and Q&A

December 9, 2015
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Adyen's Probably Touched Your Money At Some Point

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In this video, the CEO of Adyen, a global payment processing company, answers questions about the company's growth, profitability, and future plans. He discusses their decision to start the company in Amsterdam and the advantages and challenges of being based in Europe. He also explains their focus on profitability and their unique approach to maintaining a consistent corporate culture across different offices. The CEO emphasizes the importance of having a stable financial position and the potential for European companies to play a larger role in the technology industry. He also shares his thoughts on the recent changes in the fundraising environment and the future of technology innovation.

Questions & Answers

Q: Can you explain what Adyen does briefly?

Adyen is a payment processing company that connects merchants to payment methods like Visa, Mastercard, and alternative options. We make it easier for people to pay and help large companies measure their payment effectiveness.

Q: Why did you decide to start Adyen in the Netherlands instead of a more traditional location?

We already had a payments company in the Netherlands and wanted to start with a knowledgeable team. Our founders and developers were based in Amsterdam, so it made sense to start there.

Q: Is Amsterdam the best city in Europe to start a company?

Europe doesn't have the same level of attraction as the US, but cities like Paris, Amsterdam, London, and Stockholm have produced successful companies. It's hard to say if one city is the best; it depends on the specific needs and goals of the company.

Q: Why isn't Adyen a widely known company?

It wasn't a deliberate plan to stay quiet; it just happened that way. However, when iconic invested in us, it brought us more attention and recognition. Now people are starting to see the size and impact of our company.

Q: How does Adyen maintain a corporate culture while expanding globally?

We have a program that allows employees to work in different offices, and we encourage people to move if it makes sense for their roles. This helps us maintain consistency across offices and ensures a global mindset.

Q: Adyen has been profitable since 2011. How do you balance growth and profitability?

We have a knowledge-intensive product, so we focused on slower but sustainable growth. We wanted to build a quality product and provide excellent service to our merchants. Being profitable is a good thing because it gives us more choices and stability.

Q: Why did you raise a large amount of cash when you were already profitable?

Having a sizable amount of money in the bank gives confidence to our customers and shows stability. It also allows us to invest more and expand our operations. It's important for us to be well-prepared for any situation.

Q: How does Adyen approach funding rounds and maintaining a consistent company culture?

We use common stock for everybody without any special rights to maintain fairness and equity. We also have a unique approach to the board of directors, where the shareholders' meeting functions as the board. This helps us run the company efficiently and maintain our culture.

Q: Are you considering going public in the future?

Going public is an option for large merchants like us, but staying private longer is also a scenario. We are open to both possibilities and will decide based on what makes the most sense for our company and customers.

Q: Do you think there is a shift in the European market sentiment regarding tech IPOs and fundraising?

There has been a change in the atmosphere, and some companies are finding it harder to get funded. The excessive amount of money that went into unsuccessful companies disrupted the environment for successful companies. This change has been noticeable over the past few months.

Q: Do you believe Europe will become more preeminent in the global technology sector?

Europe missed out on the previous wave of successful companies like Google and PayPal. However, with the current successful companies in Europe, new entrepreneurs will emerge and start new ventures. I believe Europe will play a larger role in the future, but it will take time to catch up to Silicon Valley's influence.

Q: Did you invest in Square's IPO?

No, we don't trade in companies that are in the same area as us. However, I think Square's story is amazing, and their growth and customer base are impressive. It's unfortunate that a lower IPO valuation has attracted negativity because their achievements are remarkable.

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