In recent news, the Economic Times reported that ZestMoney, a buy now, pay later platform, saw a 300% increase in its transactions in 2021. Most customers were young adults from tier-1 and tier-2 cities that mostly used the money for online shopping and EdTech.
“Customers continue to lap up Pay Later because it gives them the perfect flexibility to spread out costs & better plan their finances. We have doubled our user base in the last year, taking our total registered user base to 15 million—almost 2x growth. It’s been a well-rounded growth across categories with smartphones, electronics, fashion, and home decor emerging as the top categories on the platform.”
—Lizzie Chapman, CEO & Co-founder of ZestMoney
ABOUT LIZZIE CHAPMAN
A graduate from the University of Edinburgh, Chapman has a degree in microbiology. Still, her passion for trading and finance grew during her college days, and she ended up being an associate at Goldman Sachs.
Lizzie Chapman saw the fintech industry’s potential in India a decade ago when even the term fintech was unheard of by many in this country. She moved to India while working with Wonga, a British digital lending company, before she co-founded the Bangalore-based start-up, ZestMoney, in 2015 along with Priya Sharma and Ashish Anantharaman (who were also colleagues of Lizzie Chapman in Wonga). Their aim was to notch up the Online Credit Transaction facility and provide personal loans to people—especially those with insufficient credit histories.
HOW ZESTMONEY WORKS
ZestMoney is based on the concept of Buy Now, Pay Later and allows its customers some amount of funds on credit, even those without a credit card or an insufficient credit history. It gives an option to its customers to buy products and services ranging from ₹50 to ₹5 lakh and pay later. It has its ties with more than 10,000 websites and 75,000 physical stores where this feature can be applied. According to Zestmoney’s website, it allows you to pay the entire amount later in the form of EMIs of your choice with zero interest and no pre-closure charges.
The company earns profits by charging a “merchant commission” at a fixed rate on the goods and services that are purchased by customers. This merchant commission is paid by merchant partners, lending partners, and borrowers.
But before taking a personal loan, everyone needs to first apply for a ZestMoney’ Credit Limit’ and fill in important details like employment details and income proof. ZestMoney, through the use of AI, creates a risk profile of every customer that wants to take credit. Those who do not have enough of a credit score need to provide some additional information, and ZestMoney’s Decision Engine using this information decides if the lending partners should approve the loan.
HOW SUCCESSFUL IS ZESTMONEY?
ZestMoney has received funding from various leading investors like Goldman Sachs, Quona Capital, Alteria Capital, Xiaomi, and Primrose and has raised over $110 million. On September 22, 2021, it raised $50 million led by Australian fintech firm Zip Co. Limited in the Series C round of funding. It was among the largest rounds of funding ever given to a company dedicated to buy now, pay later.
In 2019, the company had an NPS rating of 75, and in March 2021, it secured the second rank among the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in India by Deloitte Technology, as ZestMoney grew by 2,706% over the years. As per regulatory filings, ZestMoney’s operating revenue increased from Rs. 26.7 crore in FY19 to Rs. 72.4 crore in FY20, surging over 2.7x.
“We expect revenue growth of about 3-4x in the next 12 months. So, not just from organic volume growth, but we are also seeing increasing take rates from merchant partners as they use BNPL more aggressively, not just as a payment solution, but as a critical piece of their marketing toolkit,” said Lizzie on the expectations of the company in an interview with YourStory.
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Written by: Aashna