In a barrage of alternative payment providers seeking new retail merchant penetration, “buy now, pay later” Minneapolis-based platform Sezzle Inc. is next to go public, recently filing its IPO on the Australian Securities Exchange — where familiarity exists for the installment payment space.
Representing a market value of approximately $270 million, the company’s trading under the ticker SZL and closed the first day of trading on Tuesday up 80 percent at AU $2.20. Today, it is currently trading at AU $2.73.
Paul Paradis, chief revenue officer and cofounder of Sezzle, said the capital raise is a signal to merchants that Sezzle has “staying power and long-term viability,” highlighting the company’s ability to scale further and support their business growth in the U.S. and Canada. Sezzle operates an active user base of nearly 430,000 customers and 5,000 retailers.
Stacking itself up to its other competitors in the space who offer splitting payments into four, interest-free installments at zero interest, such as Melbourne-based Afterpay and Swedish banking institution, Klarna; Sezzle hopes to use the funds for strengthening technology, sales and revenue teams as well as invest in new marketing activities — on both merchant and customer-facing sectors.
“The added headcount is focused on augmenting our sales, marketing and engineering capabilities,” Paradis said to WWD. Paradis says the “buy now, pay later” space is still in its infancy in the U.S., pointing to the “success overseas” as evidence of the longevity of alternative payments.
Although Sezzle’s decision to go public in Australia will help raise capital for expanding its operations, the question is how lax the Australian government will be as activity continues. Australian governmental agencies are already cracking down on alternative payment providers, with Afterpay being the latest target for assessing compliance with financial legislation, according to media reports.
Touting the “highest consumer-rated” platform in the space and its ability to “drive sales” and “increase basket sizes,” Sezzle will focus fervently on growing its business in its key markets, with its new capital.