Klarna rival Zilch extends Series C to support growth in the US

UK-based buy now, pay later (BNPL) unicorn Zilch has raked in an additional $50m for its Series C round, bringing the round’s total to $160m.

Zilch previously raised $110m for its Series C round in November 2021. The extension maintains its valuation at $2bn.

The equity will help Zilch foster business growth, with a focus on the US market, where it has recently opened a Miami office and launched with over 150,000 pre-registered customers. It claims the growth rates are over four-times what was achieved in the UK, where it reached two million new customers in just 18 months.

Over the past six months, the BNPL unicorn doubled its underlying sales and revenue.

Zilch provides two payment methods, either to pay over the course of six weeks with no interest or pay in one and get 2% cashback.

Zilch CEO and co-founder Philip Belamant said, “In a world of rising interest rates and inflation, it has never been more important for customers to have access to a payment product that they can depend on for savings, deals and cash flow management with no interest or late fees of any kind. Open Banking data shows how customers of all ages are migrating away from traditional high-cost credit cards or overdrafts in favour of services like Zilch – saving them millions.

“This extension is a great endorsement of our unique model as well as our investors’ belief in our ability to deliver on our mission to create the worldʼs most empowering way for people to pay for anything, anywhere.”

With the close of the extension, the company has raised more than $460m in debt and equity. Zilch reached a $2bn valuation faster than any other FinTech in the EU, it claims.

Zilch recently partnered with Experian, which offers reciprocal reporting of payment plans to the credit reporting agency’s data set.

The partnership will see Zilch connect the comprehensive database of insights into what its two million customers can afford, which in turn will assist its active decision-making processes.

Things are not going as well for Zilch’s rival Klarna. It was recently reported that Klarna could face a hefty downround that sees its valuation drop to a third of its previous. Having been valued at $46bn in 2021, it could now drop to $15bn.

FinTech Global recently spoke to several BNPL providers about the bad publicity these services are getting about debt. They were clear that BNPL services are very much against getting people in debt, with full transparency a major principle for most providers.

Philip Belamant, co-founder and CEO of Zilch said, “Our incentive lies in providing the customer a sustainable credit product, rather than encouraging them to make impulse purchases they may not be able to afford over time.” Read the article here.

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