Afterpay's $39 billion pay day is expected to create renewed interest in Australia’s fintech sector.
Digital payment giant Square purchased Australia’s largest buy now pay later (BNPL) fintech Afterpay on Monday.
Afterpay's co-CEOs Anthony Eisen and Nick Molnar hailed the transaction as “important recognition of the Australian technology sector as homegrown innovation continues to be shared more broadly throughout the world.”
FinTech Australia CEO Rebecca Schot-Guppy agreed, telling iTnews the exit is "a huge achievement for Afterpay" as well as "a testament to the strength of the Australian ecosystem and the progress to the digital lead economy we are striving for."
“We expect to see activity and interest in our industry continue to skyrocket on the back of this transaction," Schot-Guppy said.
“It’s a global story that, once again, puts us on the map and will see renewed global interest from both overseas investors and other global fintechs in our ecosystem.”
Fellow BNPL Sezzle expressed similar sentiments, with a spokesperson telling iTnews that “the transaction further validates what companies such as Sezzle are doing in the BNPL space.”
Independent trading and wealth management fintech OMG (Openmarkets Group) CEO Ivan Tchourilov said in a statement that the Afterpay sale is one of the biggest buyout deals in Australian corporate history.
“It is a clear sign Australia is well and truly on the global investment map, which highlights our ability to breed unique, good quality businesses,” Tchourilov said.
"The market has welcomed the news with open arms, so the announcement has been very well received, which is another positive sign for the ASX overall.
"The offer is an escalation in the US buy now, pay later (BNPL) battleground, with big players Apple and PayPal hot on the heels of the Australian company.”
Tchourilov said Afterpay has had “an incredible recovery” since hitting lows of $8.01 during the Covid-19 period in March last year, rising to $158 a share in February this year.
Tchourilov said while Afterpay had now lost its ‘Australian owned’ label “this doesn’t take away from the fact it’s been a great Australian success story.”