Naftali Bennett to profit from Payoneer SPAC merger

Naftali Bennett Photo: Oria Tadmor

According to "Forbes Israel," the country's prime minister designate has a stake in the fintech company worth over $5 million.

Israeli Prime Minister designate Naftali Bennett is set to enjoy a third tech exit with the imminent SPAC merger of Israeli fintech company Payoneer. According to "Forbes," Bennett invested several hundred thousand shekels in Payoneer, soon after it was founded, and is personally acquainted with Yuval Tal, one of the company's founders, and its COO and CEO Israel Keren Levy. Sources close to Bennett have confirmed these details. "Forbes" estimates that Bennett's stake in Payoneer is worth over $5 million.

In February, Payoneer announced a merger with US special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) FTAC Olympus Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: FTOC). After the merger, which is due to be completed soon, the newly created holding company will be renamed Payoneer Global Inc. and will list on Nasdaq with a valuation of $3.3 billion.

This will be a third tech exit for Bennett who in 2005 sold anti-fraud company Cyota, which he co-founded and served as CEO, to RSA for $145 million. In 2013, Asurion acquired software problem solver Soluto, in which Bennett had a stake and had served as CEO, for $100 million.

Payoneer was founded in 2005 in Israel by Yuval Tal and Yaniv Chechik. The company has built a payment platform for suppliers and provides services. Payoneer's system is based on a direct connection with banks worldwide, which saves on fees to the credit card companies.

According to IVC, Payoneer has raised $145 million from investors including TCV, Susquehanna Growth Equity (SGE), Viola Ventures, Wellington Management, Nyca Partners, and Temasek. In its last financing round in 2017, Payoneer had a company valuation of $1.5 billion.

Payoneer currently serves four million customers and has 1,500 employees in 21 offices around the world. Revenue in 2020 was $346 million, up 8.8% from 2019 and in 2021 revenue is predicted to grow 25% to $432 million.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 7, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

Naftali Bennett Photo: Oria Tadmor
Naftali Bennett Photo: Oria Tadmor
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