It’s no secret that traveling can be expensive. The price of airline tickets can quickly surpass the thousand-dollar mark, making travel price prohibitive for many people. Fly Now Pay Later is tearing down travel’s financial barriers by developing its own app that allows consumers a flexible way to pay over time. Through Fly Now Pay Later, travelers can book flights, hotels, car service, and insurance and pay across a 12- month spread. Fly Now Pay Later offers these “travel loans” that range from £100 to £3K, depending on an individual’s credit score, and guarantors can cosign the loan application if necessary.
London TechWatch caught up with Founder and CEO Jasper Dykes to learn more about the company’s B2B and B2C offerings, expansion plans beyond the U.K. later this year, and recent funding round, which brings the company’s total funding raised to $77.4M in funding over four rounds.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We have raised £35M in a combination of new equity and debt investment led by asset management firm Revenio Capital, as well as Shawbrook Bank and BCI Finance.
Fly Now Pay Later offers travelers a flexible and affordable way to pay for travel. We are making it easier and more flexible for people to spread the cost of big-ticket trips and flights from as low as 0% APR.
What inspired the start of Fly Now Pay Later?
I came up with the idea when I was shopping for a holiday and was frustrated by the lack of payment flexibility within the travel sector.
When I was about 20, a friend rang me and said he found a fantastic holiday on Expedia, but it was almost £2K. As with most online travel providers, you typically have to pay the full balance at the point of check out, which was really inconvenient at the time. I went in search of alternative payment options for travel and realised it didn’t exist. This was the light bulb moment behind Fly Now Pay Later.
How is Fly Now Pay Later different?
Fly Now Pay Later offer travel loans ranging from £100 to £3000, depending on your credit profile and travel plans. No gimmicks or hidden fees – the total you see at checkout is always what you’ll actually pay. You can also repay early with no extra charges.
What market are you targeting and how big is it?
Fly Now Pay Later is targeting people who would like to travel the world, visit their family, or simply travel for business but cannot afford to cover the expensive travel cost all at once.
What’s your business model?
For the past 4 years, 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.
Significant demand for our B2B service has spurred the development of our standalone consumer proposition: the Fly Now Pay Later app; closing the gap between the two offerings and expanding its customer base.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business?
In the wake of Covid-19, many companies across the travel industry have been affected and we are no different. However, with our latest funding round, we now have adequate cash flow to allow us to navigate our way through the coming months, whilst also enabling us to support our partners in the travel industry by providing flexible payment solutions that will ensure flights are financially accessible for people and businesses looking to book trips with any provider once travel restrictions are lifted.
What was the funding process like?
The terms of this round were initially signed and sealed. We had the commitment in place from October 2019. However, by the time we completed legal and due diligence, Coronavirus had really hit the nation and borders were shut. To say the least, it has been quite a journey.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
The new funding will be used to support the travel industry as it reboots and is earmarked to grow UK operations, expand into Continental Europe, and launch our dedicated consumer Fly Now Pay Later app.
It’s predicted that once lockdown restrictions begin to ease, airlines will need to recoup costs – leading to unavoidable price rises in the future.
There are tens of thousands of people who have families around the world who need a frictionless way to finance their flights. Likewise, for many businesses to operate internationally, flying is an essential requirement for employees.
Fly Now Pay Later offers travelers a flexible and affordable way to pay for travel. By removing financial boundaries, we hope to open the post-COVID 19 world for travelers and reconnect people with their friends and families around the globe.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
The investment will see expansion into Europe beginning with Germany in the second quarter of 2020, followed by France later this year.
What advice can you offer companies in London that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
In light of these challenging times, create a Covid-19 resilience plan and be realistic as to when normal trading activity will resume. Use this time to focus on product development, automation, and business process improvements. Attempt to reshape the business to operate on a very lean cost base in order to ride out the storm.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
I see Fly Now Pay Later launching across the key European travel markets this year, with a view to entering the US travel sector shortly after. We’ll also be raising a much larger Series B round towards the end of the year to further fuel our expansion plan.
We’ll also be raising a much larger Series B round towards the end of the year to further fuel our expansion plan.
What is your favorite restaurant in London?
Colbert, Sloane Square.
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