The CEO and co-founder of BNPL firm Zilch today gave a resounding thumbs up to London as a startup hub while deeming those fintechs not leveraging AI as “odd”.
Belamant hailed the virtues of London, where Zilch is headquartered, as a location for startups.
“So if you think about the UK, there’s just this diverse mix of talent that is a great starting position, great schools, great universities creating fantastic amazing smart people that are building great businesses and that is a big draw.”
He also cited the “pools of capital” and the “world-beating” FCA Sandbox scheme as amongst the other plus points for the capital.
“We built our business with the regulator, I don’t know any other country that you would say about that,” Belamant said.
“The UK has the second largest pool of capital on the planet,” he highlighted.
On the potential of AI to the fintech industry, Belamant said:
“The big buzzword that everyone is talking about is AI, machine learning and AI. If you are in this space and not using some type of AI, machine learning, that is odd.”
The CEO of Zilch, which has over 3 million registered customers, also hit out at the credit card firms, highlighting their high fees and interest rates.
The BNPL firm is looking at options for an IPO, including a potential listing on the London Stock Exchange.
On the likely impending regulation of the BNPL market in the UK, Belamant said:
"Zilch today is the only major player in this country that is regulated by the FCA. We keep saying that ‘we are not calling for regulation’.
“A lot of these companies are putting billboards up saying ‘we want regulation’.
“What we are saying is ‘we don’t need regulation, we have it, we need to close the loophole, we need to close the exemption that a lot of these companies are operating in and that will force them into regulation.’”
Lead image: Zilch's Philip Belamant. Photo: Uncredited.