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PayPal Ventures has upped its stake in the credit card issuing space by leading a £18m funding rounding in Pliant, a Berlin-based fintech.

Pilant’s business model revolves around three core services – payment apps, pro API and cards-as-a-service – and issues physical, premium, virtual and single use credit cards. The firm operates in 25 EEA countries under an Electronic Money Institute (EMI) licence.

The £18m investment led by PayPal Ventures, PayPal’s investment arm, takes the total Series A financing of the company to £50m. Existing Pliant investors include SBI Investment, Motive Ventures, and Alstin Capital, which also participated in the round.

Malte Rau, CEO of Pliant, said: “We are excited to welcome PayPal Ventures as a new shareholder, and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow the company as we expand into new markets, starting with the UK.”

The investment continues the growth trajectory for Pliant, which doubles its revenues in 2023 and has been the subject of high-value Series A funding rounds in the past, including an €8m round in January this year.

Following the investment, Pliant plans to take its operations outside the EU for the first time, beginning with the UK. The firm has developed multi-currency capabilities to support these plans, with its services now offered in 11 currencies.

In addition, the investment also shows PayPal’s interest in the CaaS sector. The firm has noted increasing value for B2B payments, citing Goldman Sachs estimates that B2B volume will reach $200trn by 2028, five times the size of B2C volume, and Visa estimates that addressable B2B volume via cards will reach $20trn.

Ashish Aggarwal, Partner with PayPal Ventures, commented: “Pliant has emerged as a leading player in B2B payments in continental Europe, thanks to its next-generation, multi-tenant credit card-as-a-service platform that allows easy integration via application programming interfaces or embedded user interfaces. We are proud to be backing the company on their growth path.”

Lastly, the move also shows the continuation of an active year for PayPal Ventures, building on a January investment into Mesh – the first time PayPal conducted an investment using solely stablecoins – followed by Rasa in February.