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Buy-now, pay-later startup Zilch has raised $80 million at a $500 million valuation

Buy-now, pay-later startup Zilch has raised $80 million at a $500 million valuation

Phillip Zilch

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Buy-now, pay-later startup Zilch has raised its third funding round in just over a year, raising $80 million from investors at a $500 million valuation.

Buy now, pay later is a form of credit that allows customers of major retailers to pay for items in installments. Though there is often no fee attached, the terms for buy-now, pay-later firms say they work with debt collection agencies to recoup money owed.

Companies in the sector like Afterpay, Clearpay, Klarna have exploded in recent years.

Zilch provides a buy-now, pay-later product that lets customers spread payments with zero interest for a period of six weeks wherever Mastercard is accepted.

Zilch has not disclosed the names of many of the investors involved in the deal.

CEO Philip Belamant told Insider that one of the new investors was a large US institutional investor.

“We came to the market in a dramatically different position to our last funding round,” he told Insider. “We’ve been exceeding all of our projected numbers as a business so operated a bookbuild approach to fundraising.”

The round took a few weeks to conclude and was done without a formal investing pitch deck. Funding will go towards bringing in 100 new employees, on top of 85 current staff members in the UK with expansion to the US and Europe also on Zilch’s radar.

Zilch raised its second funding round of 2020, a $30 million Series B, last December in a deal led by Gauss Ventures and cofounder Simon Nixon.

By 2025, buy-now, pay-later volumes in Europe are predicted to hit $357 billion.

Europe as a market is likely to make up as much as 50% of buy-now, pay-later spend in the coming years with the vast majority of users being under the age of 35.

The UK government has said it plans to regulate the sector, after a report produced by the financial regulator’s former chief, Christopher Woolard.

Zilch is the only buy now, pay later company to be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

Incoming regulation was a key topic for investors during the fundraising process, according to Belamant who added that the UK market would remain a focus for the company.

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