The post was originally published in Russian on Startup of the Day. Alexander kindly agreed to republish what we think is of great value to our readers.
FlyNowPayLater, an English startup of the day, is a specialized microlending service for those dying to go on a vacation without being able to afford it. The user downloads the app, chooses the flight and the hotel, leaves in one week, and pays sometime later. The example on a landing page mentions a 500 pounds worth vacation that ends up costing 620 in monthly payments, 24% surcharge, 40% per year.
It’s easy to understand the startup founder – a vacation is an impulsive purchase, a perfect spot for hustling predatory rates. The client will advertise it for free, too: ‘I’ve had an awesome trip, I had no money, but a cool service helped me out.’ It is barely unicorn material, but it can grow into a solid business.
It’s easy to understand the clients as well. A human is a weak creature. Candy today is more important than obesity later. The world is built on weaknesses and temptations.
It’s easy to understand the employees, too. They don’t steal money, they offer something convenient, democratize decent vacations. People consciously agree to the surcharge. There is no sign of any fine print in the contract, the 40% is written in capital letters on the website’s front page.
It’s more difficult to understand the journalists writing favorable reviews about an excellent fintech startup and put news about it in the technology section. Technology, Carl!
In May, FlyNowPayLater brought in USD 15M of investment and loaned another 75M to have money on issuing credits
So now you know which link to share with someone who claims that ‘credits for iPhone’ is a unique Russian thing.
#credita #rounda #uk #microlending #travel
Translation: Kostiantyn Tupikov
Alexander made his career in Russian internet companies including Mail.Ru, Rambler, RBC. From 2016 to 2018 he was Chief Strategy and Analytics officer in Mail.Ru Group. In this position, he worked on M&A, investments, and new project launches. In 2018 he became Deputy CEO in Citymobil, a Russian Uber-like company that was invested by Mail.Ru Group and Sberbank (the biggest Russian bank), then he left the company to launch his own projects. Now Alexander is a co-founder of United Investors – the platform for co-investments in Russian early-stage startups. His blog #startupoftheday (#стартапдня) is one of the most popular blogs about startups in Russia.