London FinTech Zilch has closed an £81 million Series C funding round which makes it the fastest company in Europe to reach unicorn status.

With a valuation of more than $2 billion, the buy now pay later company was backed by Ventura Capital and Gauss Ventures with numerous other notable investors. Existing investors include Goldman Sachs. 

Following the success of its initial Series A funding round in September 2020, Zilch has leapfrogged other high-flying scale-ups to become a double unicorn in just 14 months – even faster than Cazoo.

The scaleup’s customer base has grown to a million in just 13 months. It says its direct-to-consumer model allows it to build relationships with its customers and scale significantly faster than its competitors. It allows both debit and credit transactions on its platform. 

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“It’s really been phenomenal to watch customers adopt our product at such significant speed,” said founder and CEO Philip Belamant.

“Our entire 200+ team is truly humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve millions of customers daily and rest assured we are all working around the clock to delight them. 

“We have been fortunate to experience such phenomenal growth over the last 14 months and today we are celebrating becoming one of Europe’s fastest unicorns.

“Our unique business model, which is built on regulation and places consumer financial wellness at the heart of our operations, has created a revolution in the BNPL industry. 

“We’re excited about this major milestone but realise that the job is nowhere near done and this really only marks the beginning of our growth journey as we aim to become the best way for consumers to pay for anything, anywhere.” 

Zilch is gearing up to launch in the USA after opening offices in Miami and securing a lending license in California earlier this year. It has partnered with Cross River, Marqeta and 

Following the acquisition of US lending FinTech NepFin, Zilch will hire a further 150+ people in the US over the next 12-18 months. 

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Mo El Husseiny, managing partner at Ventura Capital, commented: “It’s not very often that you come across a business with a phenomenal business idea, outclass technology and the equivalent execution. 

“Zilch has all of the above and the hypergrowth proves it. These attributes have made Zilch a flagship investment for Ventura, aligned to our portfolio of disruptors in consumer technology, having already shaken up the UK credit industry and gone from Series A to Unicorn in record time. 

“We’re delighted to rejoin Zilch in this next milestone growth round on their mission to offer the best way to pay over time and to fund accelerated expansion plans and launch in the US.”

The Zilch Now feature uses open banking technology to inform users about their payment options based on their real-time financial data, proactively warning them if a purchasing decision will have a negative impact at a later date.