Annual Report 2022
Message from the CEO
While compiling my notes for this letter, it was hard to decide which topic to address first. I typically start with the main developments from our team and business, but my reflections on 2022 presented a tension that made these topics difficult to start this message with. This was a year in which Adyen showed strong performance, but the surrounding global environment was challenging by so many measures. From the new technologies we developed to the partnerships we deepened, Adyen made significant progress throughout 2022. Simultaneously, geopolitical instability, record inflation, and supply chain shortages impacted the lives of people and companies around the world. When zooming out further, climate emergencies and humanitarian relief became nearly constant features in the state of our world.
In recent years, we have solidified our firm belief that as our business grows, so too should our positive impact on the planet and its people. In 2022, we announced our decision to annually dedicate 1% of our net revenue to initiatives that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The best way for us to contribute to the UN SDGs is through our financial technology, which enables fundraising at scale by connecting businesses, consumers, and charities around the world. Knowing this is our most impactful avenue, we are investing to connect the many points of this ever-growing ecosystem that enables the multiplier effect the world needs. This year, we launched our emergency donation functionality which allows businesses to opt in to emergency relief campaigns and harness the power of collective fundraising to respond when it’s needed most. The tool was widely used within our customer base in 2022 in support of the UNHCR’s support work in Ukraine, Syria, and Türkiye.
Alongside investments into our Impact technology, 2022 was a year of investment into expanding our horizons. The business once again proved resilient, and we were in the fortunate position of sustained profitable growth despite macro challenges. To further extend our growth runway, we expanded and deepened our product suite and successfully accelerated our hiring pace to grow our team to the size required for our next growth phase. While the broader tech industry course-corrected their hiring plans, our stable position and discipline throughout market cycles allowed us to benefit from an opportune hiring market and bring on additional talent to prepare for our upcoming chapters of scale.
Amid our increased pace of hiring, our focus remains on keeping the bar for talent high and scaling the Adyen culture. We feel the strong responsibility for Adyen to continuously assess the Formula fit of our team members. Our culture remains one of our core differentiators, and we continue to go to great lengths to preserve and scale it. In order to expand at the pace required to reach our ambitions, our culture of speed and autonomy is key and drives how we combine strategy and tactics to further expand our leading position.
Returning to working at our offices in 2022 greatly supported our intended speed of execution. Although we are able to operate effectively from home, the creativity and energy that sparks when our team is together cannot be replicated online. Being able to meet our team in person again has been so energizing. To me, these interactions confirm that our common denominator – building Adyen – is strong as ever.
The energy that results from our in-person collaboration is not only felt between our team members, but also when we spend time with our customers. With 2022 affording the long-awaited return to travel, we were able to visit our 27 global offices again as well as the businesses we work with. Connecting face-to-face strengthened our relationships with existing customers – who continue to contribute the vast majority of our volume growth – and helped us establish exciting new partnerships.
While the environment around us changed when we returned to working together in-person, our long-term focus did not waver. For us, it’s business as usual to keep our focus on where we want to be years from today. We always embrace a long-term approach when realizing our potential. To make this tangible: in this year’s results, we saw multiple of our longer-term investment areas further materialize as the contributions from North America and point-of-sale rose to new heights. When we started in these spaces years ago, many felt that they were too commoditized to enter. Our long-term vision told us otherwise. We saw that there was still significant room to play, but that it would take time to make our desired impact. Through our investments today, we are pursuing similar long-term horizons.
In 2022, the disciplined execution of our customer-led strategy resulted in continued robust growth rates amid difficult macroeconomic conditions. This approach enables us to identify the solutions that will benefit many customers, rather than just one. Our constant focus on our customers’ needs and building real-world use cases resulted in our sustained profitable growth. Above all, it brought us to the fortunate stage we are at today.
We have never been in the business of predicting what our customers need. We don’t prescribe their needs from behind our desks, but rather go and meet them to hear what they need. We think critically about creating lasting technical and commercial roadmaps that answer our customers’ demands, then proceed with discipline in building for the complexity inherent to our ambitions. In 2022, this resulted in the bolstering of strengths in areas such as Digital and Unified Commerce, while also investing in new capabilities in budding initiatives like our embedded financial products that enable platform businesses to offer banking services to the SMBs they serve.
The challenges our customers face are in many ways shaped by a continuously global landscape. Shifts such as the digitization of businesses and societies, the declining access to banking services for SMBs, and consumer demand for seamless multi-channel experiences present our customers with challenges and Adyen with opportunities. With our single platform, we are in the principal position in our space to address these demands.
We are at an exciting point in our trajectory, and I feel that our momentum is accelerating. We have a strong but still small position in payments, and are taking share from the traditional banks. Over the course of the upcoming years, we will be a driving force in how SMBs access banking services too. We proceed with discipline and focus while we build Adyen to capitalize on our long-term potential.