Fly Now Pay Later is a new startup that offers you a flexible way to finance your travel dreams; closes $75M in funding to expand into the US market
The Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) revolution is quickly gaining in popularity as consumers look for new alternatives to credit cards. Today, the BNPL market currently accounts for only a small portion of overall card spending. However, with the coronavirus pandemic-fueled e-commerce boom, this alternative model of financing may be poised to disrupt the $8 trillion US payment card industry.
A recent report from Juniper Research also estimates that Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) will account for more than 50% of the market for embedded finance by 2026. So far, the BPNL market currently focuses on shopping, e-commerce, and physical goods. But has not yet penetrated into the travel sector, which is forecast to hit 968 billion U.S. dollars by 2024, according to Statista. But that’s about to change.
Enter Fly Now Pay Later, a global fintech startup company that offers consumers an alternative and more flexible way to finance travel. Fly Now Pay Later is a leading BNPL player in the largely unaddressed travel sector. With a presence in all core BNPL markets (the UK, US, and the EU). Fly Now Pay Later is the only global player solely focused on the rapidly recovering travel sector.
To expand its services into the US market, Fly Now Pay Later announced today it has closed $75 million in debt funding managed by Atalaya Capital Management. As part of the funding package, the New York-headquartered financier has also provided an equity investment into the business.
Founded in 2015 by Enrico di San Marzano, Jasper Dykes, Stuart Jeffrey, the London-based Fly Now Pay Later is a fintech company that helps consumers split the cost of their travel in monthly installments. Since it inception six years ago, Fly Now Pay Later has focused on building a best-in-class product around its audience and their purchasing habits; seeing demand and customer loyalty solidify in the process.
Building on USD $60M (GBP £45M) of new investment made in the previous two equity funding rounds, the alternative payments provider launched in 2015 by Jasper Dykes (32), has now raised a total of USD $150 million in debt and equity funding to support global expansion.
The milestone has been achieved in less than six years of trading, during which time Fly Now Pay Later successfully navigated 18 months of unprecedented travel sector disruption. With online US commercial aviation returning to pre-pandemic levels, Fly Now Pay Later will use the new investment to further build out and scale its operational footprint in the world’s largest travel market.
The alternative lender enables customers to spread the cost of a trip over up to 12 monthly installments by partnering with leading travel merchants or directly to consumers through its Anywhere app.
Today, hundreds of travel companies use Fly Now Pay Later to offer finance (from as little as 0% APR) to holidaymakers, who can make repayments in affordable scheduled installments. Its merchant partnerships range from SME travel operators to leading operators like Malaysia Airlines, TravelUp HotelsOne, Air Serbia, and Azores Airlines.
Fly Now Pay Later has also capitalized on the market opportunity to consolidate its leading position in the UK and expand its merchant base, as travel brands seek to up their e-commerce and digital payments game to drive sales post-market recovery.
“To have secured another landmark amount during one of the worst slowdowns in travel history after it ground to a halt is testament to the efforts of the whole team,” said Fly Now Pay Later founder and chief executive Jasper Dykes.
“The US, which we entered in 2020, purposely formed a big part of our resilience plan as domestic leisure travel has been less affected than in Europe. And will continue to be a key focus as we enter 2022.
“There’s always a temptation to put the brakes on in times of significant headwinds, but with consumer expectations continuing to shift from traditional lending towards alternative convenient digital experiences, we upheld our investment commitments into developing our technology and threw ourselves into bolstering our partnership network in the states, which is really gaining momentum.”
The use of BNPL products nearly quadrupled in 2020, to £2.7 billion in transactions in the UK, with five million people using these products since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Analysts forecast that by 2026, spending via BNPL services is predicted to hit almost $51bn (£37bn) in the UK alone.
BNPL accounted for 2.1% — or about $97 billion — of all global e-commerce transactions in 2020, according to Worldpay.
The alternative travel payment provider currently employs 90 staff in the UK, United States & Latvia and is aiming to support each market over the next year in line with customer demand and as travel restrictions ease. It will onboard a further 250 + personnel across the three territories in 2022.
The company can be used to book flights, hotels, package holidays, car hire, and more and offers frictionless payment options to support businesses and the end consumer. “Fly Now Pay Later has handled the past 24 months admirably. It’s a strong brand in a high growth mode, that’s well-positioned to capture the buoyant category demand.