Zepto — formerly known as Split Payments — has raised $25 million in a Series A funding round as the Australian FinTech upstart gears up to reshape the Aussie payments landscape.
The latest financing was led by AirTree Ventures and Decade Partners, which also invested in a roster of Australian tech startups including Canva, Linktree, Mr Yum, MILKRUN, Immutable, Brighte, Who Gives a Crap and Employment Hero.
Founded in 2018 and only recently rebranded, Zepto was the first non-bank institution to be directly connected to Australia’s real-time payment system after being accepted into open banking.
The Byron Bay-based company allows merchants to receive and issue payments, identify parties and take a payment directly from a customer’s bank account with consent. Its offering also has a variety of other use cases including the ability to create virtual accounts and offering automatic reconciliation. Overall, Zepto manages the real-time settlement through a new capability known as ‘PayTo’ and move data with the payment.
Zepto on track to process A$50 billion
Describing the investment, Zepto CEO Chris Jewell said, “We are excited to partner with AirTree Ventures and Decade Partners on our first external funding round. From our roots as a bootstrapped Byron Bay upstart, Zepto has grown to become a market leader in the payments industry. We intend to use this capital to grow our team and technology in a meaningful, empowering way as we meet the demands of an ever-evolving domestic market, as well as accelerate our expansion into international markets.”
As a ‘connected institution’ to the country’s new payments platform, Zepto currently serves hundreds of Australian businesses to help them avoid the clunky payments experience. Headaches it deals with include waiting for funds to clear a bank and chargebacks the occur when transactions are contested. Thanks to its accreditation from the ACCC, the company says it’s on track to process more than A$50 billion in 2022.
With fresh capital in hand, Zepto plans to make new hires as it aims for international expansion, starting with New Zealand.
Describing the investor engagement process, Zepto CCO Carolyn Breeze said, “There were a few Ah-ha moments for me. But the most wonderful thing was the validation that we were on the right track, that the opportunity we see, and the ambition we have was not lost on the investors. Not one of them said, ‘Oh, that’s too ambitious’, or, ‘We don’t think you guys can get there for these reasons’. The feedback was so positive, it inspired us to aim even higher.”