BNPL company acquired zilch.com this year.
The concept of “buy now pay later” has become an increasingly popular means of generating more sales for top brands. If you browse the websites for Nike, Adidas, Peloton, or many other retailers, you might notice convenient prompts encouraging consumers to buy now and worry about paying at another time.
Companies providing these credit services have become immensely powerful. Klarna and Affirm are two of the largest “buy now pay later” (BNPL) providers. Klarna alone has more than 15 million customers and has partnered with over 250,000 retailers.
Combined, Klarna and Affirm have raised $5.2 billion, according to Crunchbase, and both reached unicorn status with ease.
Another BNPL operative has just joined the unicorn ranks. Zilch is a British company founded in 2018 that is looking to muscle in on Klarna’s and Affirm’s business.
Zilch, an informal pronoun, is defined as “nothing,” with the company likely branding around this word thanks to its policy of zero fees and a 0% interest rate on its services. (BNPL companies make their money by charging merchants a transaction fee.)
Zilch has seen a meteoric rise over the past year. From raising a $10 million Series A round in September 2020, the company has scaled, raising around $330 million more since then.
Its latest round, $110 million of Series C funding, put Zilch well into unicorn territory, with the young startup now valued at $2 billion. It’s using the cash to expand into the US market. Interestingly, the company has acquired a new domain to do this.
Zilch was content with using PayZilch.com in the UK, but for its US expansion, it has purchased Zilch.com.
According to WHOIS history, Zilch completed the acquisition in April 2021, around the time it disclosed an $80 million Series B funding round. The domain was purchased from its long-time owners, who still own Zilch.net and Zilch.org. Although externally, it seems little has been done with these domains.
For Zilch, securing Zilch.com makes perfect sense. It’s entering a market to disrupt the likes of Klarna and Affirm, both of which operate on their exact-match .com. For a consumer-facing financial service, control of its exact-match domain name is extremely important.