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Australian BNPL unicorn Zip looks to exit UK amid market downturn

Zip UK

Australian buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm Zip Co is looking to sell off or shut down its UK operations, according to reports.

The Sydney-listed unicorn only recently became active in the British market. However, Sky News reports the company is seeking buyers for its UK operations.

It is not yet known if it will shut down its UK operations completely if no buyer can be found.

When approached by UKTN, the company declined to comment on the future of its UK operations.

This comes just days after Zip Co made the decision to pull out of an attempted buyout of a US-based BNPL rival, Sezzle. Up until this week, Zip Co had insisted the deal was on track.

Zip Co has a presence across a number of international territories, including (for now): the UK, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and India.

There have been clear signs of difficulty in the once thriving fintech industry, with the BNPL sector, in particular, feeling the pinch from the current market downturn.

Klarna, one of the largest providers of BNPL services, recently dropped its valuation by almost $40bn as part of its latest funding round.

BNPL firms have started facing stiff competition from major corporations like Apple expanding into the sector. Already established fintechs, such as Revolut and Zopa, have also recently entered the increasingly crowded market.

There are also regulatory tensions in the UK regarding the BNPL industry, as the nation approaches significantly tighter requirements for the service.

The government announcement followed multiple warnings and concerns flagged that BNPL was more risk-prone for consumers than previously realised.