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Paddle founder quits as chair after stepping down as CEO

Paddle founder Christian Owens (Paddle)
Paddle founder Christian Owens (Paddle)

The co-founder of Paddle has quit the board of the London fintech firm a year after stepping down as CEO.

Christian Owens, who left school at 16 and launched the payments firm in London in 2012 at the age of 18 with co-founder Harrison Rose, recruited a replacement CEO in May last year and transitioned to an executive chair role, which he said was because he “wanted someone else to help run the operations, so I can focus more on products, engineering teams and spending time with customers.”

But the entrepreneur has since resigned as a director of Paddle, company filings show.

In a statement Paddle said Owens “has now moved from being a board member to being a board observer, but continues to be involved in company and product strategy.”

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Paddle hit unicorn status in 2022 after a funding round led by US private equity firm KKR valued the business at £1.1 billion, with Owen’s share thought to be worth around £100 million.

The company reported revenues of £49 million in 2022, a near-doubling of turnover on the previous year, while pre-tax losses more than doubled to £33 million.

The firm now has 320 staff across offices in London, New York, Boston, Salt Lake City and Rosario, following its $200 million acquisition of US software firm ProfitWell.

Paddle previously announced plans to build a payments system to rival Apple’s – but in February put the plans on hold after a change in Apple’s payments fee structure following the introduction of the EU’s Digital Markets Act.

“Although we are pleased to see some progress in this space we don’t believe these changes are in the spirit of the DMA and are unlikely to result in the fair playfield we were hoping for,” Paddle said in a statement.

“Due to this, Paddle will not yet create an iOS SDK to power in-app payments within App Store distributed applications. We will be awaiting more flexibility and attractive pricing from Apple to provide a better opportunity and incentive for developers.”