London-based payments optimization company Ixaris has agreed to be acquired by Nium, a global payments platform based in Singapore. Terms of the purchase were not immediately available. The acquisition is expected to be finalized in Q3 of this year.
Founded in 2002 by Alex Mifsud, Ixaris made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall in 2010. In the years since, Ixaris has focused its technology on optimizing payments for the travel sector, offering flexible payment and funding options to help airlines and online travel agents lower fees, earn rebates, and streamline the reconciliation process. Ixaris issued more than 10 million virtual cards in 2019 and, since inception, has processed 24 million transactions for a total payment volume of $7 billion (£5 billion). The issuer of Europe’s first virtual prepaid card in 2003, Ixaris has served more than 200 customers in more than 40 countries to date.
Ixaris Group CEO Mark Anthony Spiteri underscored the importance of – and opportunity in – payment optimization in the travel industry. “As part of the Nium family, we can offer the broadest portfolio of virtual card offerings to travel businesses across the globe,” Spiteri said. “All aspects of our company, from our technologies to our people, perfectly complement Nium and we look forward to increasing our geographic footprint to new regions, including the United States.”
Spiteri took over as CEO of Ixaris in May 2020. He wrote in a blog post at the company’s website that the combination of Ixaris’ virtual card issuance capabilities with Nium’s single API connection to the world’s payment infrastructure will provide “an even broader suite of payment services” for customers of both companies.
To this end, the timing of the acquisition could turn out to be especially auspicious. Spiteri noted that the post-COVID resumption of international travel, a sector he valued at $326 billion (£230 billion), should create major opportunities for his company. “As international travel takes off again in 2021, and the industry ramps up investment in solutions to improve front-end travel experiences and back-end processes,” he said, “we are ready to continue to drive its revolution.”
With more than 130 million customers, Singapore’s Nium is an international B2B payments platform that enables banks, payment providers, travel companies, and other businesses to collect and disburse funds in local currencies in 100+ countries, as well as issue virtual and physical cards globally. A member of the CB Insights Fintech 250, Nium was founded in 2015 by Michael Bermingham and Prajit Nanu.