DivideBuy founder and CEO Rob Flowers saw the potential of buy now, pay later (BNPL) when he established DivideBuy in 2014. Today, the UK-based firm, headquartered in Stoke on Trent, prides itself on being at the forefront of a global BNPL movement, modeling the way to long-term affordable consumer payments.
Flowers, originally a sporting goods retailer, was seeking a solution that could help consumers spread the cost of expensive products so they could enjoy their hobbies and not be financially disadvantaged. With this principle in mind, he created DivideBuy to improve the shopping experience. "We want to make life affordable for consumers," Flowers said. "Unlike other BNPL providers, DivideBuy allows consumers to choose their payment terms with interest-free payments up to 12 months."
Reflecting on the company's exponential growth, Flowers stated DivideBuy employs more than 50 professionals who work across sales, marketing, technology, analytics and customer service. In 2020, the company achieved a number one ranking in Deloitte's Fast 50 and is on track to hit £175 million in gross merchandise value (GMV) by the end of 2021, he added. In September 2021, DivideBuy completed a £300 funding round led by Davidson Kempner Capital Management LP, which, Flowers said, will be instrumental in bolstering DivideBuy's C-suite, platform investment, retailer network and global expansion.
"The sheer scale of this investment underlines the strength of DivideBuy's business model," Flowers said in a statement, acknowledging that his company is disrupting the POS finance sector by owning the full lending journey with assistive technology, automated soft credit checks and transparent lending with no hidden fees.
Flowers said he expects DivideBuy to achieve continued growth through ongoing product enhancements particularly related to the online customer journey. "We will aim to enhance or develop new products and services to attract new retailers and consumers," he said.
James Bradley, sales and business development director at DivideBuy, attributed global BNPL growth to consumer expectations, stating consumers increasingly expect finance options at the POS—for high ticket purchases in particular.
"Financing big-ticket items allows consumers to spread the cost of their payment, instantly making purchases far more affordable and accessible," Bradley said. "This option is so appealing that it will actually persuade a consumer to commit to a purchase that they may have previously been hemming and hawing over."
Generational attitudes, particularly among millennials, are also shaping the BNPL movement, Bradley stated, noting that many young consumers who do not have credit cards do not have cash on hand for certain larger purchases such as furniture and travel. "While this generation also faces looming debts from student loans, they may use credit options, especially tech-driven and enhanced lending solutions that are diverting consumers from credit cards toward POS finance," Bradley said.
Bradley pointed out that BNPL customers repay their lenders over a course of months while retailers that offer BNPL are paid upon confirmation of product delivery, which makes BNPL a positive alternative to retail-initiated financing and beneficial for retailers and consumers alike. Clearly, consumers are after more credit to make their purchases, but they don't want any more credit cards, he added.
Flowers mentioned that in addition to offering favorable terms, DivideBuy is one of a handful of providers with a dedicated account management team, so the company can support its retail partners with knowledgeable, growth-oriented professionals while managing client relationships and helping them identify growth opportunities to support their sales goals.
Bradley further noted that working with DivideBuy enables payments enterprises to improve cash flow management and tap into consumer segmentation and targeting. The company's flexible technology treats each customer as an individual and gives retailers and partners revenue-boosting strength, he added.
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