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Fast is speeding to a $1bn valuation just one year after seed

November 04, 2020 at 09:30AM

Fast, a San Francisco-based checkout solution provider, is raising fresh capital at as much as a $1 billion valuation just one year after closing its seed round, The Information exclusively reports.

The Stripe-backed fintech is looking to raise between $50 million and $200 million in the round, according to people familiar with the talks.

Fast's CEO Domm Holland

Fast’s CEO Domm Holland

It was less than a year ago – 16 November 2019 – that the fintech raised just $2.5 million. And it’s just seven months since its $20 million Series A closed, which was led by $35 billion-valued payments giant Stripe.

Fast’s valuation after this Series A round was just $180 million. The start-up, which was founded in March 2019, also only launched its core product in September.

Its earliest investors include Index Ventures and Kleiner Perkins.

Exceeding projections

The start-up’s speedy route to what could be unicorn status is unusual. It’s unclear how the fintech has jumped $720 million in value over just seven months.

Fast spokesperson, Jason Alderman, tells The Information that adoption of its core product Fast Checkout “has far exceeded” its “ambitious projections”.

He declined to comment on any fundraising plans. The company has not released any growth figures yet either.

It’s also likely – though not confirmed – that Stripe’s involvement, a fintech carrying one the world’s largest valuations in the sector, has something to do with the leap in valuation.

According to The Information, sources say the deal is “opportunistic” – i.e. the additional capital is not necessary, but venture capital conditions are ripe for such figures.

The team behind Fast

CEO, Domm Holland, previously worked as a technologist based in Sydney for ITV shows such as Love Island Australia and The Voice Australia.

In his early career, he spent a number of years at Dell heading up its AUD 1.3 million ($928,830) quarter sales target in New Zealand.

Holland has also founded a number of ventures in Australia. One was an on-demand towing platform, another was a network of smart tap-to-donate collection terminals.

According to LinkedIn, the fintech has some 73 employees. Other team members include Calanthia Mei, Fast’s strategy director who was also PayPal Ventures’ second full-time hire.

Fellow co-founder, Allison Barr Allen, previously led global product operations for Uber’s money team. But the ride hailing giant eventually wound back its financial play, deciding to re-focus on other areas of growth.

Others come from years at the likes of Klarna and Visa.

How Fast works

In September, Fast Checkout, the start-up’s universal one-click purchase product for e-commerce, launched.

Alongside Fast Login, it does what it says on the tin – it allows people to buy and merchants to sell, faster.

The products work on any browser, device or platform, delivering a “consistent, stress-free” purchasing experience.

They aim to solve the cumbersome problem of creating passwords and accounts to buy products on new sites, a process which can drive drop-offs before checkout.

The start-up makes its money by charging sellers a transaction fee of around 3% to process payments.

But it isn’t alone in the market with this offering. Payment wallets like Apple and Google Pay hold some of this market share. So too does PayPal Checkout, and the financial offerings integrated by the likes of ecommerce platforms such as Shopify.

Read next: Payments group Stripe snatches General Motors’ CFO

via FinTech Futures – https://bit.ly/3l0eQVx

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