Opn sets sights on becoming global payment firm

Opn sets sights on becoming global payment firm

Ezra: Profitability to be reached in 1-2 years
Ezra: Profitability to be reached in 1-2 years

Japan-based payment solutions unicorn Opn, which was founded in Thailand, aims to become a global payment firm within three years through acquisitions and financial services, including by providing loans to merchants and corporate customers.

Opn was rebranded from Omise in the middle of this year. Its major shareholders include SCB 10X, the venture capital arm of Siam Commercial Bank, and Toyota Financial Services Corp.

The company last month acquired end-to-end payment platform MerchantE in the US, making Opn a top-25 provider of payment processing in America. It aims to pursue the next fundraising round in 2023 and expects to break even within two years.

"We aim to become a global firm in end-to-end financial service in three years, forging ahead with the coverage beyond Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific," said Ezra Don Harinsut, co-founder and president of Opn, which has provided a payment gateway service in Thailand for eight years.

The company was valued at US$1 billion after a Series C+ fundraising round that secured $20 million in the middle of this year. This makes it a rare startup unicorn in Japan.

Its purchase of MerchantE in the US is seen as vital as the country is the largest growing market for embedded finance solutions, which is expected to more than double to over $50 billion by 2026.

In 2022, Opn processed more than $19 billion in payment volume. It has engaged with more than 20,000 merchants since 2014.

"Thailand is our main operation and development hub and contributes more than 50% of our revenue," said Mr Ezra.

Opn now operates in seven markets: Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the US.

The company will build out its front- and back-end technology to become an end-to-end financial service platform for customers, Mr Ezra said.

The company is strong in payment gateway services, payment processing and card issuing, and gains revenue from transaction fees.

It aims to expand its business by covering financial services, starting with lending to merchants next year, Mr Ezra said.

"The pursuit of financial services will help us achieve our vision of access to the digital economy for everyone," said Mr Ezra. Financial services provide 2-3 times greater profit margins than payment services.

Opn has been involved with a lot of data processing, which can be leveraged for credit scoring for merchants who want to increase their working capital, he said.

Small and medium-sized enterprises have found it difficult to access capital and there is a lot of opportunity in this market, Mr Ezra noted.

The company also offers "Banking as a service" by providing its technologies to banks and enterprises, he said. The service could enable recurring revenue.

With fierce competition in the e-payment sector, Mr Ezra said the company will not engage in a price war, but instead offer security and user experience, which could potentially raise brand awareness.

The company also plans to offer a virtual card to merchants for corporate payments to their suppliers.

"We will make the next fundraising round by 2023 to pursue acquisitions and expand more in Asia-Pacific," Mr Ezra said. "We aim to break even and attain profitability within 1-2 years."



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