I almost didn’t write this post. I have multiple tabs open on my browser as I search for our next investments; those who know me know that I’m constantly looking ahead. Nevertheless, I felt compelled to pause and honor an important day for a very special company: Adyen, the Dutch payments powerhouse, has become a public company.
Over seven years ago, in the midst of the rapid ascent of fast-growing companies like Uber and Airbnb, we set out to find the formative payments company that could power their global expansion. This was a major problem that had eluded even the financial services giants. Following a pursuit of multiple years, across continents, Adyen’s founders and management team granted us the privilege of becoming investors in 2013.
What I admire most about Adyen is the team’s tremendous, quiet execution. They flew under the radar for years. When I first updated my LinkedIn profile to share our investment in the company, some thought I was incorporating and investing in myself (and/or had trouble spelling). When we first mentioned Adyen to major news outlets as a rising fintech star, most had never heard of the company. The lack of public attention did not bother Adyen founders Pieter and Arnout; in fact, it enabled them to stay laser-focused on their mission. Adyen consistently achieved stellar results with a level of operational excellence I’ve not seen before in a startup.
This milestone represents Felicis’s second IPO (6th overall), and third $1B+ exit this year. But even on a day like today, it’s business as usual for the Adyen team – they’re in the office, likely working on more big customer wins like eBay. This humility and focus deeply inspires us to keep searching for the next great founders, wherever in the world they may be.