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BNPL startup ZestMoney raises $50 Mn in Series C round

Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) startup ZestMoney said it has raised $50 million from leading BNPL firm Zip Co Limited. This is part of a larger Series C fundraise which will see participation from existing investors. 

Entrackr had exclusively reported in April that the company was in talks to raise a new round. 

The transaction marks Zip’s entry into the Indian market as the company will acquire a minority stake in ZestMoney and a board seat. Founded in Australia in 2013, Zip has a presence in 12 markets across five continents, serving more than 7.3 million customers and over 50,000 merchants.

ZestMoney will use the fresh funds to expand its product suite, deepen the transaction network, strengthen its balance sheet capacity and launch new business lines in insurance and savings. 

Founded by Lizzie Chapman, Priya Sharma and Ashish Anantharaman in 2015, ZestMoney allows customers to pay for products over time. The company said its BNPL ticket sizes range from Rs 50 to Rs 5 lakh. It allows its customers to transact at more than 10,000 online sites and 75,000 physical stores across the country. 

The company said it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning data models to approve new credit customers. 

According to Fintrackr, ZestMoney had operating revenue of Rs 72.40 crore with a total expense of Rs 256.47 crore in FY20. The losses for the five-year-old company stood at Rs 181 crore in FY20.

Over the past year, the concept of buy-now-pay-later has gathered significant ground, fueled primarily by young people looking to avail short-term credit to buy lifestyle goods and services. BharatPe, which is soon going for an IPO, is entering the consumer segment with a BNPL product soon.

Companies like EarlySalary, LazyPay and Slice, and KreditBee have emerged as the category leaders in the BNPL segment. ZestMoney competes with Jitendra Gupta’s Bullet Money among others. 

KreditBee had raised $145 million in a Series C round from TPG-backed NewQuest Capital Partners and Motilal Oswal Private Equity in March this year. It offered exit to most of its early investors including the Chinese.

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