Sunday 22 September 2019

E-commerce group eShopWorld eyes fintech acquisitions

Retail

Tommy Kelly, CEO of eShopWorld, says the e-commerce platform is on the hunt for bolt-on deals
Tommy Kelly, CEO of eShopWorld, says the e-commerce platform is on the hunt for bolt-on deals
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Fast-growing Irish e-commerce company eShopWorld is on the hunt for bolt-on acquisitions, focusing on early-stage businesses or post-startups in the fintech and machine-learning areas.

"Ideally, we are looking for innovative businesses in the fintech, e-commerce and data intelligence spaces that can complement and accelerate our growth strategy," said chief executive Tommy Kelly.

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"It also offers an opportunity to grow our talent base by adding entrepreneurial, growth-focused teams that would be a good cultural fit with our existing colleagues across the group."

The company, which is headquartered in Dublin, recently announced a 26.7pc increase in revenue to €407m and outlined plans to more than double revenue to $1bn (€905m).

The business aims to make cross-border online shopping seamless for consumers.

It also plans to increase global headcount to more than 450 people, and continue to expand the range and scope of services to growing premium brands.

Asked last week about the impact of Brexit on its growth aspirations and on online shopping, Kelly said that eShopWorld is substantially insulated from Brexit as the UK accounts for less than 10pc of outbound turnover.

"While there may be some initial impact on delivery times in the event of delays at transport hubs, the nature of our model is that it resolves the sort of online cross-border trade complexities that Brexit might give rise to.

"We are already seeing some accelerated growth in 2019."

He expects more high-end UK and global brands to adopt its e-commerce products because they remove customer issues such as currency conversion and tax factors that may arise post-Brexit.

"It also makes it easier for UK brands to tap into global demand, at a time when the retail environment in the UK has been particularly challenging," Kelly added.

Earlier this year, eShopWorld doubled its headquarters office space to 24,000 sq ft at Airside Business Park. It also has offices in the US, the UK, Singapore and the Netherlands.

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