London-based fintech startup Zilch has announced that it has acquired NepFin, a technology-enabled direct lender offering flexible capital solutions. This development comes right after the company’s recent Series B funding in which it raised an additional $110M (€93.3M). This funding round brought the company’s total funding to over $200M (€170.7M). The details of the acquisition have not been revealed yet.
This fundraise has helped the company to secure key licensing and regulatory capabilities, as well as expand its on the ground team in the US.
What’s Going To Change?
Neptune Financial Inc. (“NepFin”) is a venture-backed commercial lending fintech providing debt funding to help entrepreneurs and investors grow small and medium-sized businesses.
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, NepFin is supported by the same early-stage investors as SoFi, Funding Circle, Lending Club and Upgrade. Co-founders Albert Periu and Thomas Meister launched the company in 2016 after working together as executives at Funding Circle.
Post this acquisition, Albert Periu joins as the CEO of the US and Thomas Meister joins as COO & General Counsel in the US. Their work experience at NepFin and Funding Circle will add value to the company, the press release read.
“We’ve admired Zilch as a successful, fast-growing innovator in the BNPL landscape for some time,” says Periu. “This is the second time one of my companies has been acquired by a UK-based company and I’m thrilled at how their mission, values and culture aligned with ours. Our team is looking forward to leveraging our prior experience, creating roots in Miami and attracting talent to solidify Zilch as a FinTech leader in the US as we head into the end of 2021 and beyond.”
Calling it as the first step towards international growth, Zilch claims that its over-the-top (OTT) BNPL product will allow its customers to shop freely and spread their payment over six weeks for zero interest and zero fees. In another way, this direct-to-consumer model allows the company to create direct relationships with its customers.
By the end of 2021, Zilch is planning to expand its team within the US market and the areas of focus will be targeting sales, marketing, compliance, customer service, and engineering.
“We’ve been exploring growth options in the U.S. for some time and following the additional funding, now was the perfect time to take another meaningful step towards our US launch,” says Philip Belamant, CEO and Founder of Zilch.
“Albert, Tom and their team have done tremendous work and adding them to our team enables us to hit the ground running with regulation top of mind. We’re highly confident that the team will mirror and build upon the success of Zilch as we bring the most scalable BNPL product to the US market,” he further adds.
Founded in London in mid-2018 by founder Philip Belamant and co-founder Serge Belamant, Zilch claims to be the fintech darling of the UK. As per the company, Zilch is the first over-the-top (OTT) BNPL product that allows its customers to shop wherever Mastercard is accepted and spread their payment over 6 weeks for zero interest and zero fees from one of Zilch’s 5,000+ retail affiliate partners.
Its proprietary data-driven credit assessment technology focuses on optimising its users’ cash flow whilst preventing over-indebtedness.
Unlike traditional BNPL products that require technical integration with merchants, the company claims its (patent pending) model does not require any integration and can thus instantly provide its users’ accessibility everywhere. This gives Zilch the ability to scale rapidly. According to the company, it is one of the reasons why customers are calling it, “a shopping revolution” and more recently, “the new AmEx”. According to Zilch, it is one of the UK’s first ‘buy now, pay later’ app’s regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.Last year, in December, the company raised an additional $30M (approx €24.5M) in equity funding.