Interview: Elias Samuel Klemm, Sr. Software Engineer, SumUp

Elias Klemm

On February 23rd, 2023, E-commerce Berlin Expo is taking place. This event gave us the opportunity to meet and exchange with E-commerce solutions from all over the world.

In this context, I had the opportunity to exchange with Elias Samuel Klemm, Sr. Software Engineer at SumUp:

Can you introduce yourself and your background?

Elias is a Sr. Software Engineer at SumUp. He worked in Startups for many years and is currently helping the checkout team to sell a wide range of SumUp devices to its various merchants all over the globe. Elias has called Berlin his home for the last ten years and gained most of his experience and knowledge in mid to large-tech startups. He likes discovering new music, cooking for friends, and rambling around the city in his free time.

Can you introduce SumUp and its activity?

SumUp offers a cheap and flexible alternative to the traditional, expensive and complex payment solutions and allows you to pay by card without fixed fees and without a contract. Transaction fees only apply when using our products. 

SumUp is a leading global financial technology company driven by the purpose of levelling the playing field for small businesses. SumUp supports over 4 million merchants in more than 35 markets across Europe, the U.S., and Latin America, with tailor-made business tools created specifically for the micro and nano segment.

SumUp gives small businesses a toolkit to run their entire operations. The extensive product suite includes proprietary terminal hardware, business account and card, e-commerce, remote payments, invoicing, and point-of-sale registers. Our vision is a world, where everyone can build a thriving business.

SumUp wants to become the number one choice for small businesses around the world not only for payments, but also for business Saas services including eCommerce. 

The SumUp Story: SumUp was founded over 10 years ago in 2012. The founders were convinced from the start that they could change and improve the payment infrastructure with the right products. We realized very quickly that the market for card acceptance at small merchants is huge, and that the demand for better solutions in the payment area was also high. 

Last summer, you organized a fundraising of nearly 600 million euros. What is the objective?

The funds we’ve most recently raised will enable us to continue to build out our product ecosystem, expand into new markets, pursue new acquisitions, and continue levelling the playing field for small merchants at a global scale.

The most recent funding announcement was in June 2022, in which SumUp raised €590 million, in a mix of debt and equity, in a round led by Bain Capital and BlackRock, with participation from btov Partners, Centerbridge, Crestline, Fin Capital, and Sentinel Dome Partners, among others.

SumUp has raised €1.5bn to date.

You are giving back a part of your revenues to the planet, can you tell us more about it?

Committed to leveraging its success to make the world a better place, SumUp has pledged to donate 1% of net revenues to environmental causes since the end of 2021

1% of our net revenues go to environmental causes such as ​​preventing deforestation, building renewable energy infrastructure, practising regenerative organic agriculture, conserving water, diverting waste, and creating more sustainable materials.

To balance out the donations, we are giving to different organizations. So far we could give to the NGO River Cleanup, for instance, to remove plastics from the most polluted river in Indonesia.

Check also official press release announcing this initiative here.

You support a large number of merchants in their development, how important do you think the payment stage is in the purchasing process?

There are a variety of benefits to card payments. For example, payment processing is significantly faster and the customer experience is thus improved. So, any business owner, whatever stage of development they are in at the moment, can only profit from digital financial solutions such as card payments 

It has been proven that card payment can also increase turnover (spontaneous purchases and increased shopping basket). 75% of SumUp customers report an increase in sales due to the additional option of card payment. It also eliminates additional tasks for the merchant associated with cash payments: For example, change no longer has to be provided and counted at the end of the day. Accounting is also greatly simplified by the digital recording of all transactions.

Moreover, card payments are safer – not only for merchants, but also for customers. Contactless payments in particular have often been criticised for their security risks in the event of card loss, but since a ruling by the European Court of Justice in November 2020, contactless cardholders are also exempt from liability in the event of third-party use in the event of loss.

What are the most recurrent issues you observe among the merchants you support?

Every market and every merchant is very different, but something all our small merchants are struggling with at the moment for sure is inflation and its impacts. We actually did a survey end of last year to find out more about the current situation as well as always try to support merchants not only with our products to make getting paid easier for them. We found, that despite struggling with rising energy prices and supplies costs for example, small businesses are very resilient even during challenging times. In addition to trying to really understand our merchant’s needs, we are constantly creating additional supporting content, such as these tips to overcome current challenges better.


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Thibault Herpin
Hi, my name is Thibault Herpin. I'm in charge of strategic content for E-commerce Nation. I'm happy to share my experience in the fields of digital marketing and E-commerce through my content. Do not hesitate to contact me !