BNPL firm Zilch acquires NepFin for US expansion

Zilch, the London-based Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) startup, has acquired NepFin, a US-based lender offering flexible capital solutions, to drive its international growth plans.

The acquisition follows Zilch’s recent Series B extension which raised an additional $110M, bringing its total funding to more than $200M.

The company said the deal will help secure key licensing and regulatory capabilities, as well as expand its on the ground team in the U.S as it prepares to launch its services in the country.

Under the terms of the deal, Albert Periu joins Zilch as US CEO and Thomas Meister joins as COO & General Counsel in the U.S.

Periu and Meister bring significant industry knowledge in building out U.S. FinTech lending businesses, stemming from their experience at NepFin and Funding Circle, Zilch said.

NepFin has a California Finance Lenders License and an established compliance and regulatory framework.

Zilch said in a statement that the businesses share a “ sense of responsibility for creating alternative methods for users to make purchases, without accruing debt or negatively impacting their credit.”

Zilch, provides and Over the Top (OTT) BNPL product that allows its customers to spread their payment over six weeks for zero interest and zero fees.

The lightweight, direct-to-consumer model allows Zilch to build direct relationships with customers.

The company says it is able to scale quickly as its deployment strategy is not restricted by borders or merchant acquisition and integration.

The company said it is looking to scale the team considerably within the U.S. market, with an initial focus on the Miami tech boom.

Areas of focus include targeting sales, marketing, compliance, customer service, and engineering.

Commenting on the deal, Periu said: “We’ve admired Zilch as a successful, fast growing innovator in the BNPL landscape for some time.”

“This is the second time one of my companies has been acquired by a U.K.-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 U.S. as we head into the end of 2021 and beyond.”

Zilch’ is built on Open Banking technology combined with soft credit checks to gain a real-time view and understanding of the consumer’s affordability profile and make a recommendation of what they can afford in a bid to tackle debt.

Philip Belamant, chief executive and founder of Zilch, said: “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 U.S. launch.”

“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.”

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