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PayPal’s UK rival GoCardless reaches unicorn at $2.1B valuation; secures $312M

Image credits: GoCardless

Last year, London added 20 new unicorns to its ranks in 2021, more than any other previous 12-month period. This figure takes London’s total unicorn count to 75. Well, we have another one in the list.

GoCardless, a London-based fintech company, announced that it has secured $312M funding in the Series G round led by Permira, at a valuation of $2.1B. Additionally, new investor BlackRock Private Equity Partners also joined the round. 

How will the funding be used?

Since its last funding in December 2020, the company’s valuation has more than doubled. The latest funding will enable GoCardless to accelerate its footprint in the open banking space through both product and geographical expansion. 

Hiroki Takeuchi, co-founder, and CEO of GoCardless says: “The rise of open banking presents a once-in-a-generation shift, one that will change the way payments happen all over the world. I am delighted to have partners like Permira and BlackRock Private Equity Partners on board, with their global footprint and strong expertise in tech, to support us in building a direct bank payment network that lets payments flow freely, without cards, expiration dates, or extra costs. I look forward to working with them and our new board members to accelerate the future development of GoCardless.”

Besides funding, the fintech company also announced the appointment of former Klarna executive Michael Rouse and current Klarna Chief Technology Officer Koen Koppen to its board of directors.

Payment company

Founded by Hiroki Takeuchi, Matt Robinson, and Tom Blomfield, GoCardless is a payment company that makes collecting payments by direct debit easy for everyone.

GoCardless says it processes more than $25B in transactions per year and serves over 70,000 businesses around the world, including DocuSign, Klarna, TripAdvisor, and Epson. The company launched Instant Bank Pay, a new way to collect one-off bank-to-bank payments using open banking. 

GoCardless becomes the second company to reach unicorn status followed by Gousto.


In fact, Klarna selected GoCardless to offer bank debit payments to its over 21 million customers in the US.

Also, the company has signed a partnership with PayPal which will see GoCardless become a direct debit partner for PayPal. 

GoCardless is headquartered in the UK, with additional offices in Australia, France, Germany, and the United States. 


Founded in 1985, Permira is a global investment firm that backs successful businesses with growth ambitions. The VC funds have made approximately 300 private equity investments in four key sectors: Technology, Consumer, Services, and Healthcare. 

Permira employs over 350 people in 15 offices across Europe, North America, and Asia.

Alberto Riva, Principal at Permira, adds: “We believe GoCardless is uniquely positioned to become a global champion in account-to-account payments through leveraging open banking. We are thrilled to back Hiroki and his excellent team to continue innovating and offering best-in-class solutions that are cheaper, faster, and a more secure way of collecting payments globally.”

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