Limepay, a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) provider, says it has gone on a “hiring spree” after securing $21 million in capital, with 7 senior hires according to a release shared with CI.
Limepay claims that it’s Australia’s “only” enterprise payments and white-label BNPL and it plans to “beef up” its team with several high-level appointments ahead of a potential ASX listing during H2 2021. Notably, this announcement has come after its pre-IPO raise amid 2020’s Christmas rush and its recent partnership with Domain (ASX: DHG).
As confirmed by Limepay, the appointments beginning in 2021 will include outgoing CEO of XE.com (part of the Euronet Worldwide Digital Group) and former Oz Forex (ASX:OFX) CFO and Deloitte executive Mark Ledsham, who will now serve as the Chief Financial Officer responsible for “guiding Limepay through the anticipated ASX listing.”
Former Yahoo MD and CEO at MediaCom Australia Willie Pang will be serving on the Limepay board as an independent Non-Executive Director. As confirmed in the update, these two will be joining Katie Johnston, who joins as General Counsel and Company Secretary, and who has previously worked in roles across Corporate Advisory, M&A, and Capital Raising (including at King & Wood Mallesons and most recently at The Fold Legal).
Also coming on board is former Zip Co executive Claire Alexander, who will serve as Head of People & Culture. Former PayPal and Westpac marketing executive Jessica Turnbull will be working at Limepay as Head of Marketing, and former Westpac, NAB, and Amex partnerships and product expert Eric Tsang will serve as Head of Partnerships.
These new hires have joined Andy Britz, a tech developer and software architect with more than 20 years’ experience, who began as CTO at the end of last year.
As mentioned in the release, the newly “bolstered” leadership team has been “hand-picked to provide a solid foundation of talent to implement Limepay’s pre-IPO strategy,” said Founder and CEO, Tim Dwyer.
“We are deploying a portion of the roughly $30 million we have raised within twelve months to build a seriously high-powered team with a long track record of scaling finance and tech companies. With these new additions, we are extremely confident about the team we have driving our pathway to a potential ASX listing.”
Limepay’s new CFO Ledsham said his prior experience working as CEO, CFO, and Chief Revenue Officer across global and ASX-listed forex, currencies, and tech firms will “significantly aid him in fortifying Limepay with additional finance, governance, and public markets expertise,” the announcement noted.
“Coming from a long background in the finance and technology space, across a multitude of diverse but complementary roles has given me a unique perspective into what it takes to structure and scale a company in both the private and public arenas. I chose Limepay because I believe it has the greatest long-term potential of all the players in the BNPL sector, and because the team being assembled to fulfil the founders’ vision is truly world-class.”
Limepay claims it now has more than 100 merchants signed up to use its platform, which reportedly includes Accor, EB Games, Domain (ASX: DHG) and Puma, with Underlying Merchant Sales growth “in excess of 150% quarter on quarter.”
It’s worth noting that some industry analysts have argued that the BNPL industry has “no clear path to profitability.”
The BNPL space (in general) completely leaves out “subprime” customers, which account for a third of all American consumers, according to a note shared with CI. Given the rising competition of BNPL providers fighting for retailer’s business, it “goes without saying the already slim retail margins leave little room for profitability, potentially forcing BNPL providers to lend out money with little to no return,” according to Orlando Zayas, the CEO at Katapult, a financial platform and partner of Affirm’s (which recently announced a SPAC deal with a valuation of $1 billion).
In another update shared with CI, Grant Halverson, an industry analyst from Australia’s Greater Melbourne area, confirmed:
“BNPL firms are facing a crackdown amid fears they are helping shoppers to purchase items they can not afford, resulting in increased levels of debt. Companies such as Swedish outfit Klarna, which are particularly popular with young people, are to be regulated by the [UK’s] Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Treasury announced on Tuesday.”
(Note: you may check out more details on this announcement here.)