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Temasek-backed startup Adyen targets Asian payments expansion

[SINGAPORE] Adyen BV, a payments technology provider which counts Uber Technologies Inc as a customer, is ramping up investment in the Asia-Pacific region to capitalise on surging adoption of e-commerce and mobile devices.

The startup plans to double its Singapore workforce to 70 in the next 12 months, according to chief executive officer Pieter van der Does. He expects the Asia-Pacific market to eventually account for 30 per cent of revenue, up from about 10 per cent of US$727 million in sales reported in 2016.

Adyen is just one player in a crowded payments market, competing with PayPal Holdings Inc and San Francisco-based Stripe Inc among others. The Amsterdam-based startup typically targets larger companies like Burberry and Spotify with Grab, the biggest ride-hailing startup in South-east Asia, selecting the company among its partners.

"We like to build the company from inside out, whereas in the US, companies you often see are people who make a big claim, get a lot of cash and build it from the outside to deliver the promise," Mr van der Does said.

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"It's not our approach."

On Thursday, Adyen unveiled infrastructure connecting businesses directly to Visa and MasterCard in Singapore, extending its service beyond the US, Europe, Australia, Brazil and Hong Kong.

Adyen is backed by investors including Singapore's state-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte, General Atlantic and Iconiq Capital, which counts Mark Zuckerberg as a client. The payments firm was last valued at US$2.3 billion in 2014.

Many payments tech providers are betting on Southeast Asia, a region of 620 million people and home to an e-commerce market forecast to reach US$88 billion by 2020, according to a report by Google and Temasek.

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