Philip Belamant, CEO and Co-Founder of Zilch, has been named EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 for the London and South East region of the UK.
One of the most prestigious competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies around the world, Philip Belamant was selected by an independent panel of judges based on his entrepreneurial spirit, purpose, growth and impact, amongst other core contributions and attributes. Previous winners of the coveted award include well-known entrepreneurs, such as Ben Francis, CEO of GymShark, Zilch co-Founder Sean O’Connor and Steven Bartlett the then CEO of Social Chain.
Philip Belamant is the Co-Founder of Zilch, Europe’s fastest Fintech company to ever go from Series A to a double Unicorn. The London-based firm, which combines the best of what consumers know and understand about credit and debit, has seen unrivalled success; amassing a customer base of nearly 6% of the UK adult population in under 2 years – two-times faster than any other fintech.
It’s this high-scale growth that has continued to impress investors, most notably when recently Zilch extended its Series C by adding an oversubscribed $50m of equity, taking the total amount received in funding to more than $460m. Crucially, the raise maintained the startup’s $2 billion valuation at a time when other flagship competitors have reported raising fresh funds at considerably lower valuations.
A serial entrepreneur – Philip Belamant has launched several thriving payment industry businesses, with early success occurring in the emerging African markets. In these regions, his market knowledge and resourcefulness positioned him to design disruptive electronic payments systems in regions that lacked a robust digital infrastructure, helping to advance and improve the lives of millions of people.
Today, as CEO of Zilch with its direct-to-consumer business model, Philip Belamant is taking the fight to a trillion-dollar “mount everest of debt & high fees” credit card market that has gone substantially unchallenged since its birth in the 1950s with Diners Club and Bank of Americard. The first step of this journey was to obtain a full consumer credit licence, making it the first major pay-later provider to do so. Still to date, no major BNPL firm has obtained a credit licence. This proved crucial to Zilch’s future success – when in June of this year, the UK government issued a response to its October 2021 consultation on the regulation of BNPL. The key takeaway is that BNPL firms will need to be authorised by the FCA, undertake affordability checks and with immediate effect, any unregulated BNPL credit provider must comply with the FCA’s financial promotion rules – all things Zilch has adhered to since 2020. Including not allowing customers to sign up and use a credit card to fund repayments.
In taking this strategic step, Philip Belamant created a BNPL 2.0 product. This plugs the holes created by the traditional credit cards and the first-generation BNPL products — most of which are not regulated and only allow customers to shop at certain merchants.
Philip Belamant, CEO & Co-Founder, Zilch said: “At Zilch specifically, our aim has always been to create the most empowering way to pay for anything, anywhere, rather than trying to create an “all-inclusive shopping destination, where the merchant is the direct customer” like others have focused. With Zilch, I wanted to focus on providing ease of use and value flywheel around customer transactions, like offering an instantaneous cashback offer in rewards.
“I’m honoured that Ernst and Young, an advisor entrusted by the likes of Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook, has recognised us for the Entrepreneur of the Year award and truly goes to reflect the hard work of my brilliant team. For more than three decades, EY have recognised audacious, industry-changing business leaders and entrepreneurs who disrupted industries and created new product categories. I wish all the shortlisted individuals the best of luck at the national ceremony.”
Philip Belamant will now be considered for the 2022 EY Entrepreneur of the Year ‘National’ awards, to be decided in November.
EY – the advisory firm to the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Netflix and Time Warner, to name a few – established the globally recognised EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ programme more than 30 years ago. Today, it operates in more than 60 countries around the world. It aims to showcase their recognition of the entrepreneurial achievements among individuals and companies that demonstrate what they see as inspiring leadership, vision and success.
Lynn Rattigan, EY’s Chief Operating Office for the UK & Ireland and Entrepreneur Of The Year UK Partner Sponsor, said: “This year’s cohort have shown how business leaders are embracing their responsibility as role models and are continually inspiring the next generation. We thank them for making such a positive impact on their teams, the UK economy and our communities. I feel privileged to be a part of this incredible community.”
Victoria Price UK EY Private Tax Leader and Entrepreneur Of The Year UK Partner Lead said: “I feel so inspired by working with such incredible leaders on a daily basis, they demonstrate the breadth of business talent across the country. These business leaders have shown me their drive, innovation and ambition while also creating long-term value for their communities.”
The full list is winners can be found here.
Zilch was born to create the world’s most empowering way to pay for anything, anywhere. We’re on a mission to revolutionise the payment industry with innovative products for customers to manage cash flow, responsibly.
Zilch merges the best of what people love, desire and trust about debit, credit and savings.
Since launching in 2020, the consumer-oriented fintech has grown a base of 2.5 million customers in 18 months, scaled double as quickly as some competitors, and become both a double unicorn and the fastest-growing European fintech unicorn in history. At present, 250,000 consumers sign up to use Zilch every month.
As one of the UK’s first payments & BNPL providers to be granted a consumer credit licence by the FCA, Zilch’s transparent and customer-centric credit alternative is designed with regulators to ensure consumer protection and financial health from the start. Utilising sophisticated Open Banking technology and soft credit checks, Zilch uses its real-time view and understanding of customer’s affordability to give accurate recommendations of what they can afford to borrow. Zilch’s direct-to-consumer proposition offers its customers unrestricted access to all 37m merchants that accept Mastercard, online or in-store via Tap and Pay.
Zilch has over 250 employees based across its offices in London, Miami and Krakow.
Just Zilch it!
Zilch – Ryan Mendy, Chief Communications Officer
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