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Our goal is to make the world a local marketplace: Nuvei CEO

Nuvei CEO Philip Fayer joins Yahoo Finance Live following the company's U.S. IPO.

Video Transcript


BRIAN SOZZI: Canada-based payments company Nuvei has filed for an IPO in the United States about a year after its debut over on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company is weaving its way into growth markets such as sports betting and crypto to complement its core payments business. For more on the IPO, we are joined by Nuvei CEO Philip Fayer. Philip, good to see you here this morning. For those not familiar with your company, what do you do, and how do you do it?

PHILLIP FAYER: We make the world a local marketplace. We provide payment technology to help our customers connect with their customers in all four corners of the world, regardless of where the customer is located and the currency which they would choose to pay in, and more importantly, the modality in which they need to pay in. And we help merchants not only accept payments on the way in, reconcile them on the way out, and we provide value-added services like fraud management, currency management, new things like issuing and even crypto acceptance so that our customers can focus on what's important to them-- growing their business.

JULIE HYMAN: And so Philip, just to ask this a different way, who would be your main competitor or competitors as a frame of reference for investors to think about you guys?

PHILLIP FAYER: You know, it's interesting when you look at payment acceptance around the world. You have many regional player that have a great footprint within the markets that they service. But the minute merchants need to start looking at going either north or south of the border, their options become more limited. So a great competitor to Nuvei would be, for example, an [INAUDIBLE]. And highly different from Nuvei to [INAUDIBLE] is that we focus on very specific verticals. And those verticals are, as you mentioned, complicated, oftentimes regulated, that have real industry tailwinds and that require a single platform as they continue growing their business globally.

BRIAN SOZZI: Philip, you recently made a push or an acquisition into the crypto space. Take us through that.

PHILLIP FAYER: Yeah, we acquired Simplex, an AI-powered solution, really that helps fiat purchases that drive instant fulfillment on the digital asset perspective. And it's not just crypto. It could be an NFT or other digital assets. If you think about the complexities that you're paying with fiat that can have fraud or can have returns, and you're driving and receiving a digital asset in real time. Simplex has this fraudless solution where, based on AI, they guarantee the transaction. They make it seamless for people to purchase digital assets. It's a company that we're really excited about not just for its capabilities in digital assets, but really across the board, so that we can provide risk-free purchasing for our customers to enable their global expansion.

JULIE HYMAN: And Philip, you guys are also into sports betting. You've been expanding that business as well. Just like crypto where you have to navigate a lot of different regulations in different municipalities, sports betting is similar. So what are the challenges and opportunities in that business?

PHILLIP FAYER: You know, we started with really hard stuff. So we started with sports betting and online gaming in Europe. We've powered it across from the UK into mainland Europe, into Eastern Europe. And certainly today, it's a dawn of a new era when you think about the new tab coming online for many of these gaming operators with respect to what's happening in the United States, what's happened now recently in Canada, what's also happening in South America. And each of these markets has their own unique requirements, meaning how do people want to pay in those markets? What's relevant, for example, in Canada is not necessarily relevant in what we're seeing in the United States.

So in the US, for example, we offer the broadest level of acceptance from credit, from debit, from ACH products, from direct bank payments fully reconciled on the way out. And then more importantly, we help merchants with real-time payouts to their customers as well so that they have the entire cycle, customers are able to experience real-time deposits on their winnings, and the merchants can focus on scaling their business. And that's really just some of the intricacies that you see within the United States that are different from what we see from other markets.

BRIAN SOZZI: Well, we were just talking to the CEO of Zscaler, and he was saying how he's been able to hire a good number of employees to boost his business here. But the jobs report today out in the US was disappointing. Have you had trouble finding the workers you need to support your growth?

PHILLIP FAYER: Our philosophy-- obviously, when you look at payments, when you look at how intellectually interesting and how challenging global payments is, I think that's one thing that we bring to the table-- folks that are within the payment ecosystem, and they're looking for a different challenge from what's been a sleepy industry for the past 30 years from a regional perspective. The second thing we're really proud of is our culture, our family-first focus, the fact that we put employees first and, I think, make a very fun environment as we're in high growth for a period.

And then lastly, it's the compensation. It's the opportunity to join the company on the ground floor and continue growing with us. To highlight, at the time of our Canadian IPO last year, we offered every one of our 800-plus employees $100,000 of stock option. And these are life-changing events that we've been able to provide our employees as a platform. And we still think we're very much on the ground floor. So there's a lot of upside.

So from that perspective, we're fortunate that Nuvei is an interesting opportunity to build a career for fortunate enough for folks that want to join us. We offer a platform for growth. It's fun. It's exciting. It's new. And so we have not seen that as a major hurdle so far.

JULIE HYMAN: How many employees do you guys have, Philip?

PHILLIP FAYER: Just shy of 1,300 today.

JULIE HYMAN: OK. So $100,000 of stock options for new folks, that's not a bad perk. I wanted to finally ask you about the US IPO, which, as you said, was this week. What prompted it, what motivated it, and how are you going to use the proceeds?

PHILLIP FAYER: Just amazing milestone. I want to thank NASDAQ for the partnership and, really, the overall experience. Just as a side note, we haven't seen our folks in 18 months. So to get together in New York and to get together and celebrate the listing was super emotional, and really proud to have been able to get together with our folks.

From the Canadian listing, we found a few challenges and a few opportunities Canada has a more difficult stock to trade, so for our global workforce, a US listing made more sense, as well as the pool of investors of having access to a US-listed company was deeper. And it was [INAUDIBLE] time because we moved from small-cap to mid-cap, so we're re-engaging with our investors, potentially different portfolio managers as we continue growing.

And then lastly, actually having a US stock allows for more flexibility around M&A should that happen. We have been very acquisitive. We think this strengthens our balance sheet. This gives us optionality. And certainly, as opportunities present themselves, we have today the balance sheet both with cash on the balance sheet and leverage capacity to execute some pretty meaningful opportunities.

BRIAN SOZZI: Welcome to US markets. Nuvei CEO Philip Fayer, look forward to following your public company journey. Thanks for joining us.