Afterpay is quickly mounting a global offensive as it seeks to capitalise on its extraordinary momentum.
The buy now, pay later platform confirmed on Tuesday that it will raise $800 million in a new capital raise intended to fund its rapid expansion, including to Canada.
“By raising capital today, we believe we will be in the strongest position possible to execute our strategic initiatives and growth aspirations,” CEO Anthony Eisen said in a statement to the ASX.
It will see both Eisen and co-founder Nick Molnar sell 2.05 million shares apiece, or around 10% of their respective holdings. The sell-down will net them around $125 million each and represents the two effectively cashing in on the stock price’s tremendous recent tear. It comes after Molnar became Australia’s youngest self-made billionaire.
Noting the last three months had marked “the highest quarterly performance ever”, Afterpay revealed it now has just shy of 10 million active users, well ahead of its own targets. It’s no surprise. In recent months the platform has managed to secure the backing of Chinese giant Tencent and quickly grow in the lucrative US market, all despite ongoing regulatory concerns and surging youth unemployment burdening its key demographic.
The raise will provide the necessary financial firepower to continue expanding in order to take advantage of “the accelerating shift to e-commerce spending”, largely due to the impact of COVID-19.
That will see Afterpay launch into Canada this quarter, consolidate its existing market position, and potentially swallow up some smaller BNPL players, with Afterpay saying acquisition opportunities “could present themselves in the short to medium term”.
It’s an interesting tidbit buried in the statement and supports the view of another BNPL co-founder, Zip’s Peter Gray.
Gray told Business Insider Australia at the onset of COVID-19 that the economic pressures would see a consolidation of the field as smaller BNPL companies were acquired or failed.
If investors pony up for this capital raise, it could leave Afterpay with a war chest big enough to do some shopping of its own.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider Australia and is reproduced here with permission.