UK fintech Zilch becomes fastest European ‘double unicorn’ following $110m Series C funding round
Zilch, the London-based fintech, has announced that it has closed a $110m Series C funding round, making it the fastest company in Europe to reach double unicorn status, with a valuation of over $2bn.
This round was led by Ventura Capital and Gauss Ventures with numerous other notable investors. Existing investors include the likes of Goldman Sachs.
Following the success of its initial Series A funding round in September 2020, Zilch has leapfrogged other high-flying scale-ups to become a double unicorn in just 14 months – faster than any other in the EU including the likes of high-flying Cazoo.
Zilch’s growth rate is unparalleled within the BNPL industry. Since the company’s last funding round in March 2021, the business has grown over 8X. The scale-up’s customer base grew from 0 to 1 million in just 13 months – faster than competitors such as Affirm and Klarna as well as Neo-bank Revolut.
The scale-up’s over-the-top, direct-to-consumer model allows Zilch to build direct relationships with its customers and scale significantly faster than its competitors, with a deployment strategy that is not restricted by borders and is merchant agnostic. Zilch allows both debit and credit transactions on its platform and as a result, its customers make use of its services more times in a month than some customers use competitor services in a year.
Philip Belamant, founder and CEO, said: “It’s really been phenomenal to watch customers adopt our product at such significant speed. Our entire 200+ team is truly humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve millions of customers daily and rest assured we are all working around the clock to delight them. We have been fortunate to experience such phenomenal growth over the last 14 months and today we are celebrating becoming one of Europe’s fastest unicorns.
“Our unique business model, which is built on regulation and places consumer financial wellness at the heart of our operations, has created a revolution in the BNPL industry. We’re excited about this major milestone but realise that the job is nowhere near done and this really only marks the beginning of our growth journey as we aim to become the best way for consumers to pay for anything, anywhere.”
Zilch is gearing up to launch in the USA and has made significant progress since it opened its offices in Miami and secured a lending license in California earlier this year as well as partnered with Cross River, Marqeta and Checkout.com. The company has significantly grown its headcount by over 10 times in 2021 and has 210 staff across its offices in London, Miami and Krakow. Following the acquisition of US lending fintech NepFin, Zilch will also be hiring a further 150+ people in the US over the next 12-18 months.
Mo El Husseiny, Managing Partner at Ventura Capital commented, “It’s not very often that you come across a business with a phenomenal business idea, outclass technology and the equivalent execution. Zilch has all of the above and the hypergrowth proves it. These attributes have made Zilch a flagship investment for Ventura, aligned to our portfolio of disruptors in consumer technology, having already shaken up the UK credit industry and gone from Series A to Unicorn in record time. We’re delighted to rejoin Zilch in this next milestone growth round on their mission to offer the best way to pay over time and to fund accelerated expansion plans and launch in the US.”