News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Canberra startup eWAY acquired by Global Payments for US$50 million

Canberra payment processing startup eWAY has been acquired for around USD$50 million by US company Global Payments. The acquisition is part of Global Payments’ initiative to create the leading technology enabled distribution platform in the Asia Pacific region.

CEO of eWAY Matt Bullock told The Canberra Times he was eager to see his company join Global Payments but will be carefully watching to see what comes of his largest success story.

The startup was first developed out of Canberra in 1998 as a new payment platform for customers and merchants to process credit card transactions. Today eWAY has become one of Australia’s leading providers of payment solutions to developers and software partners, and states that it covers approximately 25 percent of the online marketplace.

In 2014 eWay reports processing more than $4.6 billion in transactions, and is expected to secure over $12 million in revenue this year. The platform integrates with platforms including Xero, Shopify, and Salesforce, and has created mobile payment devices to grow its presence in the physical world as well as the online space.

The startup has more than 60 staff members working in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.

CEO of Global Payments Jeffrey Sloane said the acquisition is a fantastic opportunity following its purchasing of Brisbane payment processing business Ezidebit in 2014.

“We really looked at it very simply as a buy versus build opportunity. This was a very unique opportunity to buy the market leader from an eComm point of view, coupled with our existing presence with Ezidebit,” he said.

Global Payments is based out of Atlanta, Georgia and is a leading worldwide provider of payment technology services. While the purchase price of US$50 million could be seen as low given that eWay covers a quarter of the Australian online marketplace, Global Payments CFO Cameron Bready said eWay is not a large asset but its a key addition to its existing position in Australia through Ezidebit.

“It obviously enhances our omni-channel solution strategy…I think bringing that asset to our portfolio into Australia really positions us to accelerate our omni-channel solutions capability end market,” Bready said.

David Mangum, COO of Global Payments, added the company will be taking eWAY along with Ezidebit to the global market to drive deeper penetration on what’s already the leading provider of small to medium size retail eCommerce in Australia.

Bullock told The Canberra Times the deal with Global Payments was a tough decision, and he would be “watching it forever” as a consultant for the company. He said he has no plans to move from Canberra as the acquisition by Global Payments just goes to show what can be achieved from a smaller state in Australia.

“It is a beautiful place and there are a lot of smart people here, which is why I’m going to stay and build something even bigger and better than eWAY,” he said.

Following the acquisition, Bullock is now looking to focus on his latest business endeavor called centify.com. The site is a platform that will help users manage their commissions easily and pay staff members faster. Bullock explained he wants to turn the site into a game like Farmville to motivate user interaction.

Image: Matthew Beeche and Matt Bullock. Source: Startup Daily





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