The SumUp Story

Hands of a female and male SumUpper holding the SumUp Solo device with colourful bumpers.

Organisational vision

An enduring organisation that is people-positive and that constantly innovates from within; an organism made up of small, autonomous, cross-functional teams pursuing a variety of missions, guided by one joint vision and a common set of values.

People positive

Being a people-positive organisation means making the development and happiness of our people an important, continuing goal. It includes getting the best talent, giving them honest feedback, and empowering them to make decisions in pursuit of our mission and in line with our values. We want SumUp to be a place where people development is integral to our organisational vision, where radical candour is practiced regularly, where “political” behaviour has no place, and where everyone enjoys working together.

Innovation from within

Adaptability requires innovation, and to be scalable, innovation needs to happen spontaneously and systemically within the organisation. We owe much of SumUp’s success to cultivating a culture of innovation. We do that by setting the bar high and challenging ourselves to figure out a way to clear it. Wild ideas and creative solutions are encouraged. We keep a constant stable of loonshots that we invest in, even where doing so goes against conventional “business sense”. If you have a great idea for how to help SumUp achieve its vision, we want to support you in going for it.

Small, autonomous and cross-functional teams

Agility is the essence of an enduring organisation, and we strive to create an organisation that fosters it. We are not into hierarchies and bureaucracy; we believe in giving SumUppers the autonomy to be creative, take risks, engage in thoughtful experimentation, and break unnecessary rules. If we fail, we want to fail fast and try something else. We want to bring a lean mentality to everything we do, regardless of how big we get. Our end goal is to build an anti-fragile, agile organisation that can excel in any environment.

To achieve that goal, SumUp’s organisation is built around small, autonomous, cross-functional teams. Each team owns a particular value stream, has the full set of necessary skills, and is given the freedom to deliver that value stream as they see fit. Rather than having teams specialised in one function, we try to build cross-functional teams that are self-sufficient, self-organised and self-motivated.

To balance autonomy we have to equally embrace accountability. Autonomy is not simply giving people the freedom to do as they please. We have adopted a “context over control” approach to decision making that emphasises the importance of cross-functional collaboration and communication so that decision makers have what they need to make informed decisions on their own. People must then take ownership of their decisions and must foster such accountability on their team so that we can learn from both our successes and our failures.

This fundamental shift from a hierarchical, top-down approach of control to a bottom-up approach of giving context ties in with our goal of being a continuously learning, continuously adapting organisation. We want to approach every task as a learning opportunity, empowering us to make smarter decisions tomorrow.

Our Mission and Values