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As Visa Picks Up Verifi, A Quick Look At Its Acquisition History

Last week, credit card behemoth Visa announced plans to acquire Verifi, a startup that essentially serves as a risk management solution provider for credit card merchants.

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While Visa did not disclose how much it was paying for the Los Angeles-based SaaS platform, the announcement of the deal prompted us to take a look at its acquisition history over time. We found that Visa has made nine known acquisitions since 2010, one-third of which were made since February 2018, according to its Crunchbase profile. (We reached out to the company to see if we’re missing anything and will update the post when they get back to us.)

Here’s what that looks like in terms of an oddly shaped chart:

Now, let’s take a look at who Visa has scooped up most recently to see what those deals can tell us.

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In February 2018, Visa picked up Fradeom, a London startup focused on developing transaction management services. The company has no recorded funding history in Crunchbase, meaning that we can’t guess too closely what Visa might have paid for it.

Then more recently, in December 2018, Visa bought Earthport plc, a provider of “cross border payments services” for $223.4 million.

Returning to the most recent deal, Visa’s Mary Kay Bowman, global head of seller solutions of Visa, said in a press release that the Verifi acquisition will help buyers and sellers “resolve transaction disputes” faster.

Visa’s rationale for buying Verifi was the firm’s “suite of risk and fraud management solutions,” which Visa said will “extend its chargeback and dispute resolution capabilities.” In other words, Visa is trying to cut back on how much money it loses due to fraudulent activity. With more people paying for goods digitally, the problem is likely an even bigger one than it has proved historically. The company has no recorded funding history in Crunchbase.

What do the three deals add up to? Nothing too solid, but we can say that Visa is willing to buy companies of various sizes, and with services and tooling that can augment its core services.

Who Else?

Visa is not the only credit card company buying smaller firms to make itself better.

In March, Crunchbase News’s Natasha Mascarenhas reported on American Express’  purchase of LoungeBuddy , a booking app for loungers, in its second acquisition of the year.

Then in May, American Express announced its plans to scoop up Resy, a startup helping people get seats are restaurants, extending its buying spree. So we took that opportunity to do a deeper dive on Amex’s acquisition history over time.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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