Canadian payment technology company Nuvei Corporation (TSX: NVEI) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Israeli fintech startup Simplex for $250 million cash. Simplex provides a secure infrastructure for clearing cryptocurrency transactions. Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the second half of 2021.
Simplex was founded in 2014 by CEO Nimrod Lehavi, CTO Erez Shapira and CIO Netanel Kabala. According to IVC the company has raised $18 million, mainly from private investors. Simplex has 150 employees at its Israel offices in Givatayim near Tel Aviv and in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Simplex was founded after Lehavi discovered that he was unable to buy Bitcoin with his credit card, after the clearing system was unable to identify the small village of Ein Vered where he lives. Simplex simplifies the buying and selling process for digital currencies, which in the past could take three days, and required banking and other bureaucratic approvals.
Through its proprietary fraud and risk management tools, Simplex provides a zero-chargeback guarantee to its customers, resulting in higher conversion rates. The acquisition will also provide Nuvei with an electronic money institution (EMI) license to offer IBAN accounts to end users and corporations, and offers future banking and card issuing capabilities. As a principal member of the Visa network, Simplex has permission to issue Visa cards, giving its consumers access to digital currencies daily. Simplex processed $500 million of total volume in 2020 and is expected to process more than $2 billion in 2021.
Nuvei chair and CEO Philip Fayer said, "We expect Simplex to enhance and expand Nuvei’s steadily growing portfolio of alternative payment methods, adding turnkey simplicity to the process of buying and selling cryptocurrency and converting it back to fiat within a user account - ultimately reducing complexity for merchants and consumers. Simplex’s infrastructure is a natural fit for Nuvei’s Native Commerce Platform, further strengthening the capabilities and overall value proposition of our single-integration approach to payments."
Lehavi said, "By joining Nuvei, Simplex will be able to fulfill its promise of bridging the gap between the blockchain space and the traditional finance world. We couldn't have thought of a better partner for us, and we are excited for what the future holds."
This is not Nuvei's first Israeli acquisition. In 2019, Nuvei acquired online payment processing company SafeCharge from Teddy Sagi for $889 million.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on May 7, 2021
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