Zilch launches US expansion with plans to win 125 million customers

By Daniel Lanyon on Tuesday 17 May 2022

Alternative LendingDigital Banking

For now the company has 150,000 pre-registered customers but its founder Philip Belamant and US CEO Albert Periu have big plans for growth.

Zilch launches US expansion with plans to win 125 million customers
Image source: Philip Belamant/ Zilch

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform Zilch has launched in the US with over 150,000 pre-registered customers and a new Miami headquarters.

The US expansion is being led by Zilch’s US CEO Albert Periu. Zilch expects to hire over 100 employees in the US within the next year and has set its sights on a potential market of 125 million users over the long term.

The London-based company seeks to differentiate itself from rivals such as Klarna by offering cashback, which can be used to discount larger purchases through a partnership with Mastercard. It doesn’t strike deals directly with merchants.

Its core BNPL product, therefore, is accepted everywhere Mastercard can be used. 

The company is less than five years old but it has raised $400m in debt and equity from Goldman Sachs and others, giving it a valuation of over $2bn at its last Series C funding round. 

Its customers can pay over six weeks, in four instalments, or in one lump sum. Customers who pay in full, benefit from deals and cashback. 

Founded in July 2018, Zilch’s US landing comes after growing to over two million customers in the 18 months since it launched in the UK where it is still adding over 250,000 new users per month in the country. 

“In 2020, US consumers paid $120bn in fees and late charges to credit cards, which we believe is unacceptable and fundamentally misaligned with the interests of consumers,” said Philip Belamant, CEO & co-founder of Zilch. 

“They are being set up to fail and need more flexibility, especially during a cost of living crisis and a time of surging inflation, to pay for goods and services how and when they want  – with a system that avoids late payments and unnecessary, onerous fees.” 

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