One of the strongest players in the field of "buy now, pay later" (BNPL) is the Israeli startup company ChargeAfter, which announces the completion of a Series B round of $ 44 million. The round was led by Phoenix with participation from Citi Ventures' investment arm, Mitsubishi investment arm and Banco Bradesco.
The competition? They’re part of the platform
The idea behind ChargeAfter is to offer each buyer an available financing option tailored to their unique needs. The platform enables businesses (whether it is an online site or a physical store) to offer customers immediate financing from many sources at the time of purchase, by connecting the business to a network of banks. The Israeli company currently operates in the American market and works with and integrates dozens of financing bodies and international banks into its platform. Meidad Sharon, the company's CEO and founder says in a conversation with Geektime that the company has created the first marketplace of the BNPL field and that this is one of its strengths against major players in the market like Klarna and Sweden’s Affirm.
“Klarna and Affirm are excellent companies, but these companies only give credit to customers with a particular financial product, so it only meets the needs of some customers; so, businesses have to connect with a lot of lenders to get a complete solution, which creates a confusing and complex solution for customers ", says Sharon. She also mentioned that these two competitors are in fact a part of ChargeAfter’s marketplace which he defines as a "BNPL visa ".
There is quite a bit of criticism of the BNPL market because although in practice it "helps" people to purchase products, in the end, they have to pay interest rates later. We asked Sharon what he thought of such critiques, but he did not really address the question and only said that the company's platform opens the market to competition and offers the consumer a better line of credit.
ChargeAfter was established in 2017 by Meidad Sharon. The company currently employs about 100 people in Israel and the United States. The company's headquarters are in New York and the R&D center in Tel Aviv.