‘Buy Now Pay Later’ Startup Zilch Raises $80 Million for Product Growth and International Expansion

By McKenzie Carpenter Monday, April 19, 2021

Zilch, a “buy now pay later” (BNPL) startup, has announced today it raised $80 million to expand its fintech app business.

Person using smart phone.

About Zilch

Zilch is an “over-the-top” buy now pay later startup company that allows its app business to bypass any additional integration into an ecommerce website’s checkout process. Based out of the United Kingdom (UK), Zilch is a completely free and zero-interest buy now pay later service that uses a virtual credit card to eliminate traditional plastic cards.

In addition, the startup company is accepted anywhere that MasterCard is accepted. According to the fintech app business, Zilch can be used at more than 5,000 popular ecommerce and brick-and-mortar stores like Amazon, PrettyLittleThing, Pandora, Nike, and many more. Customers are able to pay back their purchases in four payments over a six-week period.

Furthermore, customers have the option to boost their limited balance and snooze payments for four days if they cannot make a payment. Additionally, Zilch informs customers upfront of their spending limits to avoid card rejection. The app business claims it has helped customers save more than £350 ($486) per year on interest and fees.

$500 Million Valuation

TechCrunch reported early this morning that Zilch raised $80 million in an all-equity Series B financing round led by Gauss Ventures and M&F Fund. Other investors were unnamed. With this new financing, the fintech company is now valued at more than $500 million.

CEO and founder of the startup, Philip Belamant, stated that the fintech will use the new financing to continue product growth and development in the UK, such as implementing a tier-one debt line. Additionally, Zilch plans to expand internationally to the United States (US) and increase its staff in the coming months.

Belamant added the fintech app business currently has more than 500,000 users with signs of around 4,000 daily active users.

Zilch Competitors and the Industry

Zilch is competing against other buy now pay later app companies like Klarna and Affirm that own a majority of the market share. Startup Savant reported in February that Klarna partnered with Safello, a Swedish cryptocurrency fintech company, allowing Klarna users to purchase cryptocurrencies.

Business Insider reported the buy now pay later industry could reach $680 billion in worldwide transaction volume by 2025 — a CAGR of 13.23%. The industry previously recorded an estimate of $285 billion in 2018.

According to the startup company, Zilch is the only buy now pay later provider that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. In February, the FCA re-examined buy now pay later regulations as some providers reportedly contributed to customers facing serious debt after hiding costs and fees.

Christopher Woolard, chair of The Woolward Review, which was commissioned by the FCA, stated, “Changes are urgently needed: to bring BNPL into regulation to protect consumers; to ensure that there is secure provision of debt advice to help all those who may need it; and to maintain a sustained regulatory response to the pandemic.”

About the Author

Headshot of McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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