Online payments in the eCommerce sector have been revolutionized by the Buy Now Pay Later model. Numerous organizations have become popular among customers, especially since they offer flexible payment conditions and 0% APR fees over several installments.
Zilch is a good example of a company that has benefited from this revolution. The startup company was able to go from launch to double unicorn in only one year. Zilch allows customers to pay only 25% of an item’s price while the rest of the cost is spread across six installments with zero interest.
Philip Belamant, CEO of Zilch, described the journey to Zilch’s success as challenging. Zilch had begun its first funding round before the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, one of the principal investors left the project leaving the team to fund for itself.
This was particularly challenging since the global market was plummeting, and it was hard to contact investors since everyone was at home with their families. However, Philip’s hope was restored when the UK government announced the Future Fund to support startups.
However, this glimmer of hope did not last for long. Zilch was disqualified since it had raised some of its equity on convertible notes. Philip Belamant had to go back to the drawing board with his co-founder Sean O’Connor to find a new solution.
Due to the travel restrictions, they mostly pitch their idea to investors via Zoom calls. They managed to get a deal with Goldman Sachs, which helped them acquire a consumer credit license from FCA.
According to Philip Belamant, the FCA credit license was a huge advantage in convincing investors; many other companies like Zilch had failed to do so. Within no time, the company had gone from 20,000 customers in January 2020 to 2,200,000 customers in January 2022.
Zilch managed to exploit a market gap that had previously remained untapped. The company also gained a remarkable competitive advantage by acquiring an FCA consumer credit license to protect the interests of its clients. Belamant believes that the resilience and hard work of the company’s team were critical in helping Zilch achieve its current success.