Sezzle: Boost Revenue With Customer Interest-Free Installments!
Did you know that 60% of consumers in this survey have used a “buy now, pay later” service? Of that percentage, the majority spent money on clothing, electronics, and furniture. However, we can’t rule out other consumer goods like cosmetics and food and drinks.
As you can see, shoppers are very keen on purchasing all kinds of things interest-free using services such as Sezzle, which we’ll be discussing today.
We definitely can’t deny the fact there are many “buy now, pay later” services available, but not even half of them can match Sezzle’s number of payment methods, spending caps, and zero-risk business model.
Curious to see why Sezzle and its founders, Charlie Youakim, Paul Paradis, and Killian Brackey, are your best bet at providing a safe and secure transaction system for your customers?
Read more here:
The Men Behind the Wheel
What do you get when you put three brilliant minds together, all students of the University of Minnesota? You get Sezzle. We dream of accomplishing certain things as children, and Charlie’s dream was to follow in his father’s footsteps. However, all that was to change quickly.
Charlie completed his undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota in 1999 with a focus on Mechanical Engineering. He started his professional life at McGann, where he hit multiple milestones. During his time there, Charlie was responsible for the tech team that worked on developing software, leaving the company the most successful software in its history.
Shane Gatz, a former colleague, has deemed Charles a problem solver and breeder of innovative ideas.
The born-and-raised leader started attending the Carlson School of Management in 2008 to continue his education, convinced that Finance was his field of interest. Once he started, he realized he was interested in all aspects of business, like marketing and strategy.
There, Charlie met Paul Paradis, which is when things started to progress. Paul graduated with a Political Science degree from Davidson College and pursued an MBA at the University of Minnesota after. This helped him build on his knowledge of sales, marketing, and business development.
Killian Brackey, the third co-founder, started a technical career at a young age (while still in high school!), working on different projects like code-writing and website building. He majored in Economics at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he met Charlie and Paul.
So, the engineer, the marketer, and the tech guy sat down together and founded Sezzle in 2016.
Great Lessons Come From Practice
Mind you–Charlie didn’t just venture out to found Sezzle. Before his ingenious invention, he went through ups and downs building his empire, which once consisted solely of Passport–a tech startup.
Charlie founded Passport in 2010 in his basement. Talk about dedication! And while Charlie had a clear vision of what Passport would sell, in the end, there was a lot of opportunity to expand in the transportation sector.
During his time running Passport, Charlie handled both day-to-day tasks and big-picture stuff. He would answer clients’ requests and resolve their complaints, all the while holding the position of CEO and CTO. You could say he was a jack of all trades.
In the end, all that hard work paid off–Charlie gained invaluable knowledge on how to run a business, and co-founders Paul and Killian further enhanced the process. In five years, Charlie managed to achieve more than some of his competitors in the transportation sector could in a decade or more!
The Goal of Sezzle
How awesome would it be to buy that expensive jacket you saw in installments without any interest? Well, Sezzle makes this possible thanks to its innovative “pay now, buy” later approach.
And while Sezzle isn’t the only company offering these services, it’s placed itself at the top of the competition due to several reasons:
- You can find it at your favorite online shops like GameStop, Target, and ShopAdorn
- It allows you to build good credit
- You can shop the latest discount deals in multiple categories right on the Sezzle website
- It’s available for iOS and Android.
With the payment platform present on hundreds of e-commerce sites, potential consumers have the opportunity to purchase at online stores now and pay later with interest-free installment plans. This bright and opportunistic idea is a win-win solution for both the customers, who get increased purchasing power and online stores, who see growth in sales numbers.
So, How Does Sezzle Work?
It’s pretty simple, actually. All you have to do is sign up via the mobile app and browse through about 50,000 brands! You finalize the order at the checkout, and any discounts available are applied as well.
The main advantage is that Sezzle lets you split an order into four interest-free installments you can cover within six weeks. So, there are no extra fees or negative credit impact.
Success Through Trial and Error
When the future doesn’t look so bright, you have to remember there’s always a silver lining! So was the case with Sezzle, when it was announced that Zip had pulled out of the merger that was to occur in late February 2022.
There were rumors Sezzle would make quite the big bucks from the merger but that it would also have to lay off a ton of employees to make the whole thing happen. Apparently, it was to lay off 20% of the North-American workers and cut 40-50% of employees worldwide.
According to Sezzle, the layoffs were necessary to secure 10$M in annual cost savings. In return, Sezzle was supposed to merge with Zip for more than $300M.
Nonetheless, Zip eventually decided to go down a different path and canceled the merger. Sezzle stated that this would be for the best, as it would also secure their shareholders’ investments in the company.
Since the cancellation of the merger, Sezzle’s shares have plunged by 30%. Nonetheless, Zip ended up paying Sezzle $11M to cover merger expenses, helping the company get back on its feet.
Sezzle Investors and Funding
Sezzle is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and counts around 200 employees. So far, it has received funding from five investors: E-Merge, Abdullah Khalid, CSC Upshot, Discover Personal Loans, and Bastion Management.
E-Merge is Sezzle’s top investor, with 66 investments so far, and Abdullah Khalid is right behind with 59 investments.
Since Sezzle’s IPO status is Public, you can always find info regarding its past and future funding rounds. The last one occurred on OCT 18, 2022, from Post-IPO Debt. The current total funding amount is over $400.
Sezzle’s and Charlie’s biggest success to date is the seed round funding of $2M that occurred in the first year of the company’s existence.
What’s in Store for the Future?
Sezzle’s story doesn’t end here. As a motivated and strong-minded entrepreneur, Charlie has big plans in store.
Since the termination of the merger, the company’s sole focus has been revenue growth and customer satisfaction. Charlie has announced that its target audience is US consumers, and plans to invest more toward this particular clientele.
Nonetheless, Sezzle has become a global payment solution and as such, is working on expanding in various markets, including Europe. The company has a strategy in place that’ll help boost revenue and return to profit by 2024.
And what about Charlie?
Having seen the tremendous achievements of Passport and Sezzle and his great success as CEO, it is without a doubt that we can expect another innovation from Charlie. The only question that remains is: where else will he turn his focus?