From its Atlanta office, PPRO aims to connect U.S. processors with local payment methods around the world.

PPRO arrived in Atlanta from Europe with ambitious goals to win big customers: payment processors that needed help connecting to the growing number of local payment methods around the world.  

Three years later, the city known as “Transaction Alley” continues to be an important company hub, even as hundreds of millions of dollars in equity investment have turned PPRO’s focus outward toward the world.

The company announced this week it had raised another $180 million on the heels of two separate $50 million raises in as many years. The new funding solidified its status as as “unicorn” — a privately held company worth more than $1 billion. (The species is becoming more common in Atlanta, with OneTrust and Greenlight the latest firms to pass the threshold.) 

In a statement, PPRO said its global employee county increased by more than 120 people in 2020 alone, a 60 percent jump as it made strides connecting processors like Atlanta-based Elavon and WorldPay, as well as Citi, Mastercard and PayPal, to popular global payment methods like GrabPay, the platform of the top ride-hailing platform and super-app in Southeast Asia.  

A spokesman couldn’t pinpoint much of this headcount growth has taken place in Atlanta, which is still a relatively small office despite its outsized importance.  

PPRO is based in London but set up Atlanta before the acquisition of allpago in 2019. That firm was based in Berlin but had become a leading integrator of local payment methods across Latin America, especially in Brazil. 

As the beachhead for expansion into North America, Atlanta became an important bridge to the rest of the hemisphere.  

In a Global Atlanta event on Latin American fintech in late 2019, Vice President Steve Villegas said Atlanta had “inherited” in the allpago deal responsibility for the Mexico City office, which primarily focused on support for U.S. clients.

“We’re still a small company, small team, so there are things we can do to be pretty nimble,” Mr. Villegas said at the time, noting that Atlanta’s payments story was still known mostly domestically. Most of PPRO’s global workforce was managed virtually long before the pandemic.  

PPRO was seeing massive growth in global e-commerce, and the Midtown Atlanta office — with 12 people at the time — was mainly built around connecting credit-card heavy processors and acquirers here with a world full of unbanked consumers who were rapidly joining the digital economy through e-wallets, bank transfers and 450 or so other payment methods the company has catalogued in its Payments Almanac 

Now flush with cash, PPRO is looking to continue its aggressive global growth streak.  

“We’re now over 340 people, working in over nine offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. We fully expect to increase our global PPRO team by 40 percent in 2021, which would take us to over 450 people by the end of the year,” CEO Simon Black said in a statement provided to Global Atlanta.  

He added that its deep focus on local payment methods would continue and the company is open to growing through acquisition.  

Amid a long list of jobs in Berlin, Munich, London, Sao Paulo, Cologne, Singapore and elsewhere, PPRO currently has one open position in Atlanta. 

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...