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Swedish fintech Trustly acquires Ecospend in UK expansion

Trustly Ecospend

Swedish fintech Trustly has acquired UK-based competitor Ecospend, as part of a plan to strengthen the company’s position in the British market.

Stockholm-headquartered Trustly specialises in account-to-account (A2A) payments using open banking.

Fellow A2A firm Ecospend’s position in the UK will support Trustly’s expansion into the UK, which is one of the largest fintech markets in Europe and a leading adopter of open banking technology.

Founded in 2017, Ecospend is an FCA regulated open banking firm that operates in both the private and public sectors. Ecospend lists both HMRC and ITV among its considerable client base.

“I am delighted to welcome Ecospend to Trustly,” said Trustly CEO Johan Tjärnberg.

“This is a perfect strategic fit and I am convinced that it will enable us to deliver a market-leading product in the UK, allowing us to capture opportunities and accelerate our current UK expansion.”

The two financial technology companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. Trustly is currently valued at just over $1bn.

“Together with Trustly we will be able to further accelerate our expansion in the UK and continue to raise the bar for service excellence to our customers,” said Metin Erkman, founder of Ecospend.

“We will continue to leverage our market-leading technology and bank connectivity in the UK and, together with Trustly, broaden our capabilities to stretch across Europe and further markets.”

The buyout news comes a year after Trustly postponed a planned $9bn IPO launch after the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority flagged concerns about the company’s due diligence.

One of the particular areas of concern for regulators was Trustly’s dealings in the high-risk betting industry.

Oscar Berglund, then Trustly chief executive, told The Financial Times at the time: “It’s not the first time they review us. It [won’t be] the last time.”

He did, however, admit the betting sector was “a higher-risk kind of merchant” and said, “we need to do closer checks on them, which we do”.