BNPL fintech scoops $80m as it sets its sights on the American Dream

By Aisling Finn on Monday 19 April 2021

Alternative Lending

Zilch has raised a total of $120m and will use the latest fundraise to set up shop across the pond as well as building on its service here in the UK.

BNPL fintech scoops $80m as it sets its sights on the American Dream
Image source: Philip Belamant/Zilch

London-based fintech Zilch has closed an $80m Series B funding round, as the buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) sector continues on its meteoric rise.

The round saw participation from Gauss Ventures, which has invested in previous funding efforts from Zilch and other fintechs including the likes of Curve, and M&F Fund.

Zilch will use the fresh pot of cash to fund its international expansion plans, touching down in the US in the coming months.

“This funding is a demonstration of the confidence and strength of Zilch’s mission and products. We will very soon be launching in a number of new countries and continue the testing and rapid rollout of alternate ways for our customers to spend with Zilch,” said CEO and founder, Philip Belamant.

“Our inspiration is fuelled by Gen Z and millennials, who make up a large part of our customer base. Their demand for convenient and transparent products drives us to keep innovating and improving our offering,” he added.

Over the past year, the BNPL fintech quadrupled its headcount to 80 and plans to add 100 new roles in both the UK and the US as it preps for its stateside launch.

In November 2020, Zilch became the first UK BNPL firm to gain consumer credit authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), after it took part in the FCA’s regulatory sandbox programme.  

Unlike traditional BNPL fintech, such as the likes of Klarna and Clearpay, Zilch allows customers to pay in interest-free instalments at any online retailer where Mastercard is accepted, not just the ones supported by its platform. 

Through the use of open banking, the fintech ensures that customers can afford to repay their deferred purchases by using real-time insights into a consumer’s financial wellbeing and current expenditure. 

Over the past two years, Zilch has raised a total of $120m and is now valued at more than $500m. 

Despite the threat of tighter regulation in the sector, BNPL remains one of the largest and most widely used areas of fintech.

The Woolard Review, commissioned by the FCA, called for tighter regulation of BNPL companies as many have operated with limited restrictions on them for years.

Recent research from Worldpay found that BNPL could account for ten per cent of all UK e-commerce by 2024 and that the alternative payment method was the fastest-growing payment method in the UK for the second year running.

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