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KKR-Backed UK Startup Paddle Strikes $200 Million Deal

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(Bloomberg) -- UK startup Paddle is making its first acquisition, spending more than $200 million in a mix of cash and equity to buy ProfitWell to grow its payments service.

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Founded in 2012 by then 18-year-old Christian Owens, Paddle raised $200 million from investors led by KKR & Co Inc at a $1.4 billion valuation earlier this month. Paddle focuses on building tools for software companies to handle payments including checkout and subscription management.

The deal has already closed, leaving the combined company with about 330 employees, Owens said in an interview. He added that he has known ProfitWell Chief Executive Officer Patrick Campbell for about five years, and that the addition is “heavily complimentary” given ProfitWell’s focus on areas like pricing, revenue recognition and metrics for software-as-a-service companies.

Paddle currently has offices in London and New York. Owens is also a previous winner of the Thiel Fellowship, which awards $100,000 grants to about two dozen college-age students each year on the condition that the kids drop out to start companies.

Amid fears of a global downturn and plunging technology stocks, Owens said that he has seen a gradual slowdown of growth at the software companies Paddle works with. “We’re still fairly early into those trends,” he added.

(Corrects founding year of Paddle)

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