Fly Now Pay Later continues international expansion with £55m funding package

Jasper Dykes

Fly Now Pay Later, a British fintech company offering consumers an alternative and flexible way to finance travel, has closed a £55m ($75m) debt funding package provided by funds managed by Atalaya Capital Management to support expansion into the United States.

As part of the funding package, the New-York headquartered financier has also provided an equity investment into the business.

Building on £45m of new investment made in the previous two equity funding rounds, the alternative payments provider launched in 2015 by Jasper Dykes has now raised a total of $150 million in debt and equity funding to support global expansion.

The milestone has been achieved in less than six years of trading, during which time Fly Now Pay Later successfully navigated 18 months of unprecedented travel sector disruption.

With online US commercial aviation returning to pre-pandemic levels, Fly Now Pay Later will use the new investment to further build out and scale its operational footprint in the world’s largest travel market.

“To have secured another landmark amount during one of the worst slowdowns in travel history after it ground to a halt is testament to the efforts of the whole team,” said Fly Now Pay Later Founder and Chief Executive Jasper Dykes.

“The US, which we entered in 2020, purposely formed a big part of our resilience plan as domestic leisure travel has been less affected than in Europe. And will continue to be a key focus as we enter 2022.

“There’s always a temptation to put the brakes on in times of significant headwinds, but with consumer expectations continuing to shift from traditional lending towards alternative convenient digital experiences, we upheld our investment commitments into developing our technology and threw ourselves into bolstering our partnership network in the states, which is really gaining momentum.”

In the past year, Fly Now Pay Later has entered into significant new commercial partnerships, including Malaysia Airlines and the airline payments network Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) (EU merchants only).

“It’s a particularly exciting time for the company. The category is experiencing tremendous growth and with that we also welcome the FCA’s recent decision to regulate the sector in the UK to facilitate its continuing maturity.” continued Mr Dykes.

“There are tens of thousands of people who have families around the world who need a frictionless way to finance their flights.

“By removing financial boundaries, we hope to reconnect people with their friends and families no matter where they are around the globe.

“Since launch, we have been on a mission to make travel more accessible and affordable for more people, by providing payment flexibility at the click of a button.

“Our proprietary platform has been designed to make instantaneous credit decisions – providing highly tailored and digestible payment options to consumers traditionally underserved by existing credit institutions.”

The use of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) products nearly quadrupled in 2020, to £2.7 billion in transactions in the UK, with five million people using these products since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysts forecast that by 2026, spending via BNPL services is predicted to hit almost $51bn (£37bn) in the UK alone.

BNPL accounted for 2.1% — or about $97 billion — of all global e-commerce transactions in 2020, according to Worldpay.

Launched in 2015, Fly Now Pay Later currently employs 90 staff in the UK, United States & Latvia and is aiming to support each market over the next year in line with customer demand and as travel restrictions ease. It will onboard a further 250+ personnel across the three territories in 2022.

“Fly Now Pay Later has handled the past 24 months admirably. It’s a strong brand in a high growth mode, that’s well positioned to capture the buoyant category demand.

“We’re proud to support the company and its experienced management team as they continue to make life easier for travellers and merchants worldwide with its tech-enabled financial solutions.” added James Intermont, Principal at Atalaya Capital Management