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French payments challenger Lydia raises €13m

The payments app is blossoming into a fully-fledged banking challenger, with over 1 million users.

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French fintech Lydia has announced it is raising a €13m ($16.1m) fundraising round, led by CNP Assurances and backed by existing investors XAnge, New Alpha AM, Oddo BHF and Groupe Duval.

Founded in 2013, the payments app aims to make payments easier for everyone by being able to pay for everything with one gadget: your phone. Users can connect their card of choice to their Lydia account within minutes, and then use Lydia at the point of sale by holding up a QR code for the amount required.

Lydia now boasts over 1m registered users, with more than 2,000 sign ups coming in every day. It holds partnerships with Cdiscount, France’s second leading e-commerce website behind Amazon, and the French supermarket chain Franprix, allowing consumers to pay with their Lydia account online and in-store at the checkout.

“Now, more than ever before, Lydia is one of the major players in the cashless revolution gaining pace across Europe,” commented Cyril Chiche, President and Co-founder of Lydia.

“We’d like to thank our existing investors for their ongoing trust, and we are thrilled to welcome CNP Assurances onboard. These enriched means will allow us to go even faster and further towards providing the 500 million citizens of Europe with the best-adapted interface for their money.”

In addition, the app supports payments between friends, allowing users to transfer funds from their debit card into their friend’s Lydia account with a notification system in place to let them know when it’s gone through. The app also comes with a physical debit card and a personal IBAN.

Overall, the platform carries out over 1m transactions per month, at around €25m in monthly volume. Currently operating in France, the UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal, Lydia plans to expand to more countries and hire more staff over the course of 2018.

In 2017, the platform was named as one of KPMG’s Global Fintech 100. Lydia has now raised over €23m to date.

Hélène Falchier, head of Private Equity at CNP Assurances, and director of Open CNP, added: “With innovative customer acquisition strategies and an unparalleled level of service, Lydia has been able to attract millennials, and to create a loyal community of Lydia app users. We are delighted to accompany Lydia on its expansion in France and across Europe, as well as to plan new mobile payment services together.”

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