Speculation that Zilch will list in London is growing after the fast-growth FinTech was invited to open trading on the capital’s Stock Exchange.
The traditional ringing of the bell on Thursday was nominally in celebration of the company’s third birthday as it celebrates reaching the 3.5 million-customer milestone.
However the significance is obvious for a London-based Buy Now Pay Later company with $460m in debt and equity funding behind it and which last year became Europe’s fastest ever FinTech double-unicorn.
Zilch launched a base in Miami last year as it targets rapid growth in the US. Co-founder and CEO Philip Belamant told Bloomberg TV yesterday: “We have to do what’s best for our stakeholders.
“The question between the US and the UK is something we’re taking very seriously and talking about a lot.”
The number of tech IPOs in London has dropped rapidly following a series of high-profile falls from grace, with New York being seen as an attractive alternative to scaling companies. The LSE and government have worked to relax rules and simplify the burden of firms listing in London amid criticism from the likes of THG founder Matt Moulding.
“I will say, we are encouraged by what we’re seeing from [CEO] Julia Hoggett and LSE, as well as the government,” continued Belemant. “They’re really leaning in to say how do we support firms, not just post-IPO, but leading into IPO and beyond.
“So that’s encouraging to see and we’re excited by that.”
Belamant told BusinessCloud last year that “the secret sauce for UK FinTech companies is…. they benefit from access to the City of London and the UK’s sophisticated financial services industry”.
However he warned that a perfect storm of rising interest rates, inflationary pressures and falling public company valuations – most notably in the tech sector – had triggered a reset in thinking which meant that FinTechs needed to pivot to address investors’ new priorities.
In three years, Zilch has generated a total of £300m in rewards and savings for users. Its sign-ups have been equivalent to 3,000 a day since launch. With a reward-earning ‘Pay Now’ debit product and zero-interest ‘Pay in 4 over 6 weeks’ credit product, it claims to have consumer interest at heart and says it has consistently maintained one of the highest Trustpilot ratings of any financial product.
“I’m enormously proud of how far we’ve come in just three years… in just 36 months, almost 10% of the UK adult working population is now a registered customer,” added Belamant.
“Many customers are using Zilch daily with our average customer using the product 100 times a year. Zilch has already driven over £1.5 billion in commerce to retailers and put over £300m of savings and rewards back into the pockets of customers. And this is just the beginning.
“Whilst we remain acutely aware of the many challenges that lie ahead, I am very encouraged by the fact our margins are currently at their highest, credit losses at record lows and revenues the strongest we’ve ever seen. Exceptional growth in fundamental unit economics with substantial gross profit margins holds Zilch on a clear course to profitability and beyond. We are also currently on track to process more sales in the next 12 months than we have in Zilch’s history to date.”
Sean O’Connor, co-founder, added: “We are pleased that the strength with which our counter-cyclical business model has performed during this challenging macro market environment, together with the scale of its societal impact and growth potential, is increasingly being noted in institutional capital markets.
“As such, we are delighted to be invited by the CEO of the London Stock Exchange to open what is one of the world’s major stock markets.”