Hungarian startup receives Czech investment

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Petr Kellner, the wealthiest businessman in the Czech Republic, will invest EUR 6 million in Barion Payment Zrt., a Hungarian online and mobile payment startup. The management of Barion will remain in place, according to a report published by online news portal index.hu.

Photo: Tamás Bíró, co-founder, Barion Payment.

Kellner will invest in Barion through Czech retail financial service provider Home Credit Group. In the first round, Home Credit Group will acquire 20% of Barion for EUR 2 million.

Barion, founded by technology company Sense/Net, currently has 6,000 corporate customers and 2,600 webstore partners, with 95% of its transactions being Hungarian forint-based. The company plans to expand to the Czech, German, Austrian, Slovak and Slovenian markets. Barion has so far received HUF 150 million in investments over two stages from domestic angel investors.

The new investor will not take over Barion, and strategic decisions will continue to be taken by the current board, which will be extended with two members delegated by Home Credit Group, index.hu reports.

Barionʼs co-founder and CEO Sándor Kiss was cited by state news wire MTI as saying that the Czech investorʼs capital injection is aimed at allowing the company to show that the results achieved in Hungary can be transferred to an international level. He added that the company aims to make its profit not from transaction fees but from utilizing data collected through purchases with the aim of building the worldʼs biggest shoppersʼ database.

Tamás Bíró, the firmʼs co-founder and marketing manager, said the remainder of the investment will arrive later, depending on the fulfillment of certain conditions; for example, provided an expansion similar to that seen in Hungary is achieved in the Czech Republic.

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