The “over the top” U.K. buy now, pay later (BNPL) startup Zilch has raised $80 million in funding, bringing its value to more than $500 million as it prepares to expand to the U.S.
That’s according to TechCrunch, which reported Monday (April 19) that Zilch had raised that funding in an all-equity series B led by Gauss Ventures and M&F Fund.
Founder and CEO Philip Belamant said in an interview that the company is getting funding from individuals and smaller firms, but that could change in future rounds, the news outlet reported, “as it looks both to bring in a tier-one debt line, not just to fuel growth in its current market of the UK but to expand to more countries, including the United States.”
As PYMNTS has written before, the BNPL concept has proven very popular recently. TechCrunch points to recent research that says it will account for 10 percent of all online sales in the U.K. by 2024.
How does Zilch stand out in this field? One of the key ways is its partnership with Mastercard, the only third party Zilch works with. Zilch created a payment card that allows customers to use a Mastercard number at checkout, giving them the option to pay in installments or pay the same way they would with a traditional credit card.
Zilch runs “soft credit checks,” as Belamant describes them, to assess people’s suitability for BNPL. The news outlet says this has helped the company become the first BNLP provider regulated under the Financial Conduct Authority. That same group has investigated BNPL companies and could soon tighten the regulations around them to prevent consumers from getting trapped in payment plans they can’t afford.
To learn more about the evolution of BNPL, particularly in how brick-and-mortar retailers are embracing the practice, read our report from last month.