Canadian payments giant Nuvei is reportedly in talks to acquire Simplex, an Israeli cryptocurrency startup, for up to $250 million — sending a strong signal that the electronic payments processing industry is pivoting toward digital currencies.
The deal between Nuvei and Simplex is expected to be finalized “in the next few days,” according to BlockBeats, a Beijing-based blockchain publication. The deal could be worth between $200 million and $250 million.
Neither Nuvei nor Simplex have confirmed the sale at the time of publication.
By targeting Simplex, Nuvei is clearly expanding its efforts to corner the cryptocurrency market. In March, Nuvei launched support for nearly 40 cryptocurrencies, giving merchants the option of sending and receiving payments in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and dozens of lesser-known coins.
Simplex offers fiat-to-crypto on-ramp services that enable individuals and businesses to purchase digital assets. The company recently brought on Polkadot as a partner, as well as browser Opera and Visa. Through Simplex, Visa can now offer its clients crypto debit cards — a move that could significantly enhance cryptocurrency adoption for retail transactions. A Simplex spokesperson explained to Cointelegraph that the partnership was primarily to boost the company’s business-to-business activities.
Simplex isn’t the first Israeli fintech company to be targeted by Nuvei. The Montreal-based payments technology processor bought SafeCharge, previously based in Tel Aviv, for $889 million in 2019. “The company now employs more than 100 people, mostly in Israel, and has so far raised $18 million, mostly from local private investors,” Blockbeats reported.