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Imminent Fintech Unicorn Zilch and Others Lead Charge as UK Tech Soars

Posted August 2, 2021 by EasyFinance.com to Finance 0 0

The global pandemic, which forced stay-at-home requirements, has fundamentally changed the economy in a number of ways, however, perhaps most stark has been the way it has accelerated the tech industry. This is especially evident in the UK where a number of firms have grown precipitously over the past year. We can see this clearly illustrated in the case of Zilch, the UK-based Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider that has seen its valuation skyrocket of late. This has prompted it to be singled out as a fintech unicorn and speaks volumes about the state of UK-based tech. Read on for a deep dive into that area and how it is contributing to the shifting global economy.

Zilch at a Glance

Before we dive into the UK tech scene at large, let’s first examine how Zilch has grown its base over the past year. After opening its doors in 2019, the BNPL provider struck a fairly immediate chord with users. This is, in part, based on its ease of use, allowing users to utilize a virtual Mastercard to make purchases in much the same way they could otherwise do with a traditional credit card. Users navigate to the company’s website to see how much they can spend at a particular retailer and are then directed to the online store of their choosing. At checkout, they provide their card information and check out like normal.

This is where the company’s BNPL offering comes into play, allowing customers to pay only 25% of the cost of their purchase at check out. The remaining 75% is then paid out in 3 equal installments over the next 6 weeks. This simple purchasing paradigm has become a major selling point for the company’s services, especially amongst millennials seeking out a smarter way to shop online. It has also helped set it apart from other BNPL providers, some of whom have more convoluted repayment processes and may have a high barrier to entry.

The company has also been able to endear itself to users through its easy application process utilizing soft background checks, which don’t affect a user’s credit score. This stands in contrast to the hard background checks utilized by some other providers which do have the potential to affect a user’s credit. As a result of these different considerations, users have flocked to the firm, which now boasts more than 500,000 customers, a base that is now growing at a rate of more than 100,000 new signups per month.

UK Tech Takes Over

The case of Zilch helps to illustrate a larger trend in the UK tech scene, which is now establishing itself as one of the world’s major tech centers. This is especially apparent when looking at the number of firms that have already established themselves as unicorns or are expected to break into that tier shortly. At present, the UK has 91 unicorns, an impressive number when considering that New York is currently home to 98 companies that have achieved the designation and the San Francisco Bay area is currently home to 334.

Not only has the UK already drawn almost level with New York in this regard, but it has another 132 firms with valuations and growth rates that are high enough that they are expected to become unicorns soon. This growth rate would send the UK tech scene over the top of New York and have it lagging behind only Silicon Valley for dominance in the industry. This precipitous rise, which might have seemed unlikely just a short time ago, has helped to single out the many exciting entrepreneurial endeavors currently taking place in the UK and how they are making waves not only at home, but also in the US and elsewhere on the international level.

Zilch Illustrates Smart Growth Roadmap

The case of Zilch helps to explain how these UK-based companies are making the jump to vaunted unicorn status. Through a directed focus on smart growth and offering high-quality services, the company has helped to capture not only the attention of customers, but also the intrigue of investors. This can be seen by the way the company has recently gained a fresh wave of investment which not only left it poised to grow even further, but also served to increase its valuation to new heights.

Amidst this fresh valuation and infusion of investment capital, the company has ramped up its hiring efforts, underscoring the degree to which it is expanding. The firm has pledged to add 100 new staff members to its team in the current year, a number that will see it able to grow its efforts in a number of exciting sectors. Notable hires have also come in from other firms in the tech space, such as Klarna and Facebook. This showcases how the company’s not only equipping itself to handle its present growth, but also how it plans to build further on its success by increasing its capacity and offerings.

Global Attention Shifts

While Silicon Valley remains the center of the global tech hub, for now, the example of Zilch and other firms helps to illustrate how that attention is currently shifting. As investors have cooled on San Francisco-based firms and promising companies have popped up in the UK, investment capital has begun to divert. While some firms that have seen their fortunes grow during the pandemic, such as Zoom and Netflix, are now dropping in value, many UK-based tech companies are doubling down on their growth efforts. This has produced renewed excitement and attention on the country’s tech scene and has prompted a focus on companies that are poised to surpass the $1 billion valuation mark.

In light of the shift in global demographics amidst a booming tech industry, there has perhaps never been a more exciting time to examine the state of UK tech. With firms like Zilch establishing themselves as leaders in their field, it is already clear that the country’s efforts in this space are set to endure. As the fintech unicorn ramps up its staffing efforts and looks to additional opportunities at home and abroad, it seems likely to continue to lead the charge for this growing area of the economy. Keep your eyes on this space as it may play a central role in the way the world economy interacts with tech in the coming years.

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