Pieter van der Does
President and Chief Executive Officer

After selling Bibit Global Payment Services to Royal Bank of Scotland Group in 2004, Pieter van der Does took a sabbatical in Brazil. “The total objective was to be bored,” says the 47-year-old Dutch entrepreneur. But he couldn’t resist planning another payments start-up, Adyen, which was launched in the Netherlands in 2006 and has grown rapidly as a service provider to Airbnb, Facebook, Netflix, Uber and other big names in e-commerce. “The first time around, we were doing payments with large companies,” says van der Does, who as Adyen’s president and CEO works closely with chief technology officer — and Bibit and Adyen co-founder — Arnout Schuijff. “We were an interface between the merchant and bank systems to make reconciliation smoother.” With Adyen “we started from scratch and did it in the way it should have been done, building the full stack ourselves,” van der Does explains. An e-payment processor with a global reach, Adyen invites comparisons with PayPal Holdings (see Dan Schulman, No. 29). But Adyen doesn’t work directly with consumers. Its mission is to help merchants efficiently and safely accept all forms of payment, ranging from credit cards to PayPal to government-issued vouchers. The company, which processed $50 billion in payments last year, is directly connected to MasterCard and Visa, so those transactions are faster, and their service levels higher, than if they were routed through an intermediary bank’s network, van der Does says. Adyen employs 400 and has 4,500-plus customers worldwide. With more than 40 percent of its merchants in the U.S., Adyen has had a San Francisco office since 2008; van der Does spends much of his time there, though his home base remains Amsterdam. The company, which in 2014 raised $250 million (valuing it at $1 billion-plus) from the likes of General Atlantic and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, has received buyout interest, van der Does says, adding: “I always have the feeling that this is only the beginning. The market size is almost endless, the opportunity is so big, and the company is doing well, so why look for an exit?”

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