Pay-later startups spot a road to riches in B2B


Pratik Bhakta

192 reads

Pratik Bhakta

192 reads

Credit-backed consumer payments have become a complex game following tighter regulations and funding woes. So, a clutch of ‘buy now, pay later’ fintechs is doubling down on supply-chain financing. Here’s the lowdown on this emerging segment

January 18, 2023


When ‘buy now, pay later’ burst onto the scene in 2019-20, the product was tipped to change how young shoppers paid for stuff and sideline credit cards. Some global BNPL startups notched supersized valuations as their ‘interest-free’ offerings took off.

But that was then. These companies took a hammering in 2022 as the tech sentiment soured, consumers started seeing late charges and regulators stepped in. In India, some players were bought out in bargain deals, whereas a few others scrambled to adapt to the new digital-lending rules.

While the challenges did not completely stall the BNPL segment’s progress, they complicated the path to fast growth that everyone had become accustomed to. Now, a clutch of fintechs may have found a way to make things interesting again.

Instead of solving for consumer purchases, they offer pay-later options for business-to-business dealings. Essentially, it’s a form of supply-chain financing aimed at small vendors and retailers.

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