Afterpay is making a play in the mainland European market, through the acquisition of Spanish fintech Pagantis for at least €50 million ($82.3 million).
The deal will see Afterpay’s Clearpay acquire 100% of the Barcelona-based business, which also offers buy-now-pay-later and other credit services.
It paves the way for Clearpay to roll out throughout Spain, as well as in France, Italy and Portugal, where Pagentis currently operates.
This move comes two years after Afterpay launched in the US, and after it entered the UK through the acquisition of Clearpay in August 2018.
According to Afterpay’s ASX announcement, the acquisition will help the Aussie buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) behemoth capitalise on strong consumer demand.
The COVID-19 crisis has led to an uptick in e-commerce all over the world, and more widespread adoption of alternative payment options such as BNPL.
The pandemic has also seen Afterpay’s share price hit record highs. After the acquisition announcement, it peaked again, hitting $83. That’s up from $8.90 at the end of March this year.
Afterpay has identified the EU as “the next logical step” for international expansion, because of its millennial population, large fashion and beauty retail markets and significant debit card usage, the statement said.
In the statement, Afterpay chief Anthony Eisen said the business had seen faster than anticipated growth in the US and UK markets, validating the appeal of BNPL on a global scale.
“Our momentum to date has given us the confidence to expedite our expansion into new global regions,” he said.