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Rapyd’s Growth and the Future of Fintech: Insights from Arik Shtilman

By Jefferies Editorial Team
2 min read

In September 2023, Jefferies hosted its seventh annual Tech Trek, Israel’s largest institutional investor conference. The three-day event connects leading global investors with the Israeli tech ecosystem through a series of panels, presentations, and meetings. 

During the conference, Jefferies spoke with Arik Shtilman, co-founder and CEO of Rapyd, a global payments and fintech platform based in London. Rapyd offers businesses a comprehensive solution for integrating payments, commerce, and financial services into any application. 

Shtilman spoke to Rapyd’s founding and its path to success, the rise of embedded finance and fintech across various sectors, the significance of cross-border sales and compliance for modern companies, and more. 

The conversation followed Rapyd announcing an acquisition of a piece of PayU from Prosus, aiming to scale its fintech-as-a-service platform. 

Spotting a Gap in the Market: Rapyd's Journey to Success

Initially, Rapyd was conceptualized as a consumer e-wallet to challenge PayPal. The startup pivoted when Shtilman noticed a significant gap in the financial services space. While there were plenty of specialists, no one offered a comprehensive platform that integrated all financial capabilities — from issuance and disbursement to compliance — into a seamless, all-in-one solution.

“Every company in the sector was a one-trick pony,” Shtilman shared. “It mirrored the early cloud computing era, where there were hosting services but no infrastructure. Our vision was to create the world’s largest infrastructure for financial services, all baked into one platform.” 

From there, Rapyd grew rapidly. By 2022, just seven years after its founding, it was valued at $15 billion, becoming the most valuable Israeli tech unicorn ever.

How Embedded Finance and Globalization Pushed Fintech Forward

Fintech has grown rapidly, on track to become a $1.5 trillion sector by 2030. Despite a challenging 2022 and 2023, as funding and deal volume slipped, the sector’s long-term prospects remain very strong. 

Shtilman identifies two trends driving the sector’s momentum: the rise of embedded finance and the increase in cross-border commerce.

“Every single company wants to become a Fintech,” Shtilman said. “Look at ApplePay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay – all these tech companies adding embedded finance. They’re realizing that the best way to monetize customer relationships is financial services.” 

For most businesses, however, building fintech capabilities from scratch isn't feasible. They just want to offer these services. That’s where Rapyd found its edge: providing an adaptable fintech platform that enables companies to offer financial solutions without developing them. 

The second trend is the growth of international businesses – and the host of compliance challenges they face.

"Almost every business today operates internationally, and they need a platform that can manage varying compliance standards, currencies, and payment methods," Shtilman explains.

Rapyd uses AI to automate these processes, bringing efficiencies to companies operating across global markets, including emerging economies. 

What’s Next for Rapyd? 

With a fresh rebrand and recent acquisitions under its belt, Rapyd is ready to keep expanding. How has the company maintained its momentum, as it transitioned from startup to global leader? 

“One of the biggest challenges in scaling from five to 1,500 employees is preserving that startup spirit—avoiding bureaucracy and keeping everyone agile,” Shtilman shared. 

To tackle this, Rapyd restructured into smaller business units that mimic the flexibility and rapid execution of startups, ensuring the company remains nimble and retains its momentum despite its size.


As Rapyd embarks on its next phase, the global fintech market's trajectory remains a critical backdrop. The sector is expected to rebound in 2024, following two challenging years. The entry of more companies into this space signifies not only the sector's growth but also the ongoing globalization of economies. Shtilman's insights offer a roadmap for navigating the always-evolving sector, highlighting the importance of innovation and adaptability in achieving sustained growth.