The Danish Fintech startup Clearhaus has recently acquired 33% (worth 10 mil EUR) of the Copenhagen Cooperative Bank. This is part of its new business model to present e-commerce companies (merchants), with a solution that integrates traditional banking and acquiring. Clearhaus aims to minimize the friction for merchants in the sign-up process of opening a traditional bank account or applying for a loan. "Our interest is in closing the gap between traditional banking and acquiring. Clients will be able to see where they stand banking-wise without delay based on their transaction activity. We want to issue cards as well", says Clearhaus CEO Claus M. Christensen. Clearhaus also plans to expand its influence in Europe: "We are hoping to obtain a market share of 10% in the DACH region within 12-18 months." adds Christensen.
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Clearhaus (based in Aarhus, Denmark) currently offers acquiring services. It provides online businesses with the possibility to accept Visa and Mastercard payments in their webshops while managing their (merchant) accounts. The startup holds roughly 20% of the Danish acquiring market after only 21 months of operations, dethroning the monopoly holders Nets/Teller.
After its recent equity investment, Clearhaus is working to develop an "all-in-one" solution, which integrates both banking and acquiring services. "Businesses waste time, for example, when applying for a loan because they have to retrieve their transaction data from acquirers. With our new business model, this will be automated. We will be able to give the go/no-go at a record pace." says Christensen.
Clearhaus has over 7,500 clients in 29 countries across Europe. Its clients are mainly small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses such as the destined-for-millennials banking app Lunar Way. 75% of Clearhaus' revenue is generated from outside its domestic market. Due to its positive international performance, the acquiring company is getting ready to become further acquainted with the DACH region. This is with the objective of entering the Austrian and Swiss markets, whilst expanding its influence in Germany.
Christensen believes that Clearhaus can challenge the traditional banks in Europe ranging from smaller, local ones, to larger global banks like HSBC; and reach the proposed 10% market share in the DACH region by continuing to offer low-friction, tech-friendly services at competitive prices.
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