Fly Now Pay Later has closed a £55 million debt funding package to finance its rollout to the United States.
Based in London, the firm is the only global ‘buy now pay later’ player solely focused on the rapidly recovering travel sector.
The alternative lender enables customers to spread the cost of a trip over up to 12 monthly instalments by partnering with leading travel merchants or directly to consumers through its Anywhere app. It can be used to book flights, hotels, package holidays and car hire.
The capital will be provided from funds managed by Atalaya Capital Management to support the London firm’s expansion into the United States – the largest travel market in the world.
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 $150m in debt and equity funding to support global expansion.
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 CEO 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.”
Hundreds of travel companies use the platform to offer finance to holidaymakers. Its merchant partnerships range from SME travel operators to operators including Malaysia Airlines, TravelUp HotelsOne, Air Serbia and Azores Airlines.
The company employs 90 staff in the UK, United States and Latvia. It aims to onboard a further 250+ personnel across the three territories in 2022.