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Zilch weighs up IPO location as fintech hits 3.5m customers

Zilch visits London Stock Exchange as it weighs up IPO decision.
Image credit: Zilch

The boss of fintech company Zilch has said he’s taking the decision whether to IPO in the UK or US “very seriously” and has been “encouraged” by moves from the UK government.

The London-based payments company said it has now surpassed 3.5 million registered customers since its launch in 2020 and is gearing up for a public debut in the not-too-distant future.

Zilch staff were present for the opening of trading at the London Stock Exchange on Thursday to celebrate three years since the buy now pay later (BNPL) company’s launch.

It comes as the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has struggled to attract and retain tech companies. The most notable example is Cambridge semiconductor designer Arm, which is set to IPO in New York later this month in a listing that could be worth as much $70bn.

While Zilch has not publicly announced any solid plans or a timeline for its IPO, the company’s CEO and co-founder Philip Belamant recently met with senior London Stock Exchange executives.

“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,” Belamant told Bloomberg TV on Thursday.

“And I will say we are encouraged by what we’re seeing from Julia Hoggett and LSE, as well as the government. 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.”

Zilch launched in the US market in 2022 and has a headquarters based in Miami, Florida.

Belamant said that Zilch is on “a clear course to profitability and beyond” due to its unit economics and “substantial” gross profit margins.

He added that “almost 10% of the UK adult working population is now a registered customer”.

The Zilch app lets consumers spread payments over six weeks with zero interest. It uses a virtual Mastercard connected to a user’s bank account and provides rewards when consumers pay in full.

Zilch previously described itself as “BNPL 2.0” because it charges no interest or late fees and offers cashback rewards.

The company now appears to be distancing itself from the BNPL market, which faces an upcoming regulatory clampdown. Zilch now calls itself an “ad-subsidised payments platform”.

Zilch makes money by taking commission payments from retailers who promote their virtual storefront on the Zilch app.

According to Zilch’s website, it charges customers a “small, upfront fee” if retailers do not pay enough affiliate commission to cover costs.

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