Zilch, a London startup that has built an “over the top” buy now, pay later (BNPL) business out of cutting deals directly with consumers bypassing the need for integrating anything new into an e-commerce site’s check-out process, as many of the leading providers have done has raised $80 million, an all-equity Series B that values the company at over $500 million.
The funding is coming from Gauss Ventures and M&F Fund, among other unnamed investors. The startup has up to now opted to raise from individuals and smaller firms, CEO and founder Philip Belamant said in an interview, although that may change in future rounds 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.
For now, Zilch has financed usage of its service off its own balance sheet: it has more than 500,000 users, Belamant said, and is seeing sign-ups of around 4,000 a day on its app.
BNPL is a payment scheme that has been around as long as stores themselves, but its emergence online has been more a later arrival. It’s proven to be a very popular one. A recent report from Worldpay estimated that in the UK, which is the world’s third-biggest e-commerce market in its estimation (£192 billion, or $266 billion, transacted in 2020), BNPL will account for 10% of all sales by 2024, when the overall e-commerce market will be worth £264 billion ($366 billion).