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10 hottest BNPL startups changing the landscape of payments in 2022

The buy now, pay later (BNPL) space has been one of the hottest fintech verticals since last year and have been on a tear with valuations going through the roof. One of the most significant pieces of evidence for this is when US fintech giant Square acquired Australian Klarna rival Afterpay for $29B. But things caught fire when BNPL-related reports started coming in from all around the world. 

In the Europe, perhaps Klarna is the most famous one, valued at $45.6 billion in June—up 47% from the $31 billion valuation it hit in March. But, what more evident sign that BNPL is going mainstream than the capacity for Amazon shoppers to defer payments on purchases of $50 or more?

BNPL startups worldwide have been expanding, as reflected in recent rounds. For instance, UK BNPL for car repair, Bumper revved up $12M from Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover and Autotech, while Irish BNPL Scalapay raised $155M, reached $700M valuation.

With so much funding pouring into the category and mergers already happening, it will definitely be interesting to watch how things will turn out in 2022. Consequently, today at TFN, we take a look at the most sizzling BNPL startups making huge waves in 2022, across the globe.

Ant Group (China)

Founder/s: Jack Ma
Founded year: 2004
Total funding: $18.5B

Alibaba’s fintech arm Ant Group operates Huabei, its buy now pay later service. The lending service is Ant Group’s credit card alternative. As per this service, users’ credit limit depends on their credit score, purchasing history and how much money they have deposited in Alipay. As of 2021, Ant Group was valued at over $200 billion based on its performance in the previous year.

Rupifi (India)

Founder/s: Ankit Singh, Anubhav Jain, Jawaid Iqbal
Founded year: 2020
Total funding: $30.3M

The Rupifi platform operates in the B2B payments space through its buy now pay later and SME-focused commercial card products. Its B2B BNPL is operating across sectors such as FMCG, pharma, fashion, electronics, agriculture and food. Being the marquee product of Rupifi, BNPL will power any payment option, including cash to process the payment.

Recently, the payments platform Rupifi raised $25 million in its Series-A round led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Tiger Global.

Zilch (UK)

Founder/s: Philip Belamant
Founded year: 2018
Total funding: $230M

London fintech startup Zilch is making a lot of noise in the UK fintech sector and intends to reshape the BNPL industry by putting the consumer first, especially as COVID-19 continues to affect everyone. It’s BNPL app is competing directly with Klarna and allows its customers to shop wherever Mastercard is accepted.

Back in 2021, Zilch secured $110 million in a Series C investment round, reaching a valuation of more than $2 billion, thereby making it one of the stellar unicorns in London.

Lunar (Denmark)

Founder/s: Ken Villum Klausen
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: $349M

Nordic challenger bank Lunar’s ‘Pay Later’ credit lets users split all transactions into instalments or postpone an expense up to 30 days. It is available for all users with a minimum deposit of €270 to their current account every month. In 2021, the digital mobile-based banking app raised €210 million in its Series D round of funding.

Lipa Later
Image credits: Lipa Later

Lipa Later

Founder/s: Eric Muli
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: $13M

Lipa Later, an African ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL) operates in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Nigeria. After capturing the rapidly growing e-commerce presence, the fintech built its BNPL option, which lets consumers to pay for products in monthly installments. It monetises through commissions and interest charges and initially faced challenges in securing customers. Earlier this month, the fintech startup raised $12 million from a group of investors to expand into more African markets.

Affirm (US)

Founder/s: Jeffrey Kaditz, Max Levchin, Nathan Gettings
Founded year: 2012
Total funding: $1.1B

Affirm provides shoppers with an alternative to traditional credit cards at the point of sale, giving them the flexibility to buy now and make simple monthly payments for their purchases. It has partnered with over 2,000 merchants to give shoppers the option to pay at checkout across retail including home furnishings, travel, personal fitness, electronics, apparel and beauty, and more.

In 2020, the flexible and transparent alternative to credit cards picked up $500 million in a Series G round.

Uni (India)

Founder/s: Nitin Gupta, Prateek Jindal
Founded year: 2020
Total funding: $88.5

Uni, an Indian startup that offers users pay-later cards allows users to pay their monthly spending in three parts over three months for no extra charges. The new-age Uni cards are for the digital generation. Late last year, Uni raised $70 million in a financing round to broaden its product offerings in the South Asian market. General Catalyst led the startup’s Series A funding.

Zopa (UK)

Founder/s: Richard Duvall, Tim Parlett, Giles Andrews, James Alexander, David Nicholson
Founded year: 2005
Total funding: $778M

Another digital bank from London, Zopa is a P2P money lending service that allows lenders and borrowers to deal directly with one another, thereby eradicating the middlemen. Its buy now pay later service launched recently is a credit product, which lets shoppers defer payments for goods such as clothes and electronics.

In 2021, Zopa bagged $300 million in funding and reached a valuation of over $1 billion in a round involving SoftBank along with other investors.

Uplift (US)

Founder/s: Raghavv Sharrma
Founded year: 2014
Total funding: $695M

Uplift is one of the leading enterprise buy now pay later solutions serving over 100 of the world’s top travel brands including United Airlines, Carnival Cruise Line, Southwest Vacations, and many more. With Uplift, customers book travel early and pay over time. In early 2021, Uplift picked up $68 million credit Atalaya Capital Management.

Funding Circle (UK)

Founder/s: Samir Desai, James Meekings, Andrew Mullinger
Founded year: 2010
Total funding: $373M

Funding Circle’s FlexiPay helps you pay for invoices, buy big-ticket items, make other payments and spread the cost over 3 months. It offers a credit facility of £2,000 to £50,000 for making payments to suppliers. It is interest-free and there are no annual or set up fees and the minimum payment you can make is £100.

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