Sezzle shares soar on U.S. IPO plans as 'buy now, pay later' booms

(Reuters) -Sezzle Inc will soon file for a U.S. listing, the Australia-listed buy-now-pay-later firm said on Friday, as it joins Afterpay in seeking to tap investors in the sector’s biggest market, sending its shares nearly 9% higher.

The United States is by far the most coveted market by players in the booming global industry, showcasing massive growth as the pandemic sent more shoppers online.

Sezzle and Afterpay will also be buoyed by a stellar debut of U.S. rival Affirm Holdings, which almost doubled on its first day of trading on the Nasdaq in January.

A U.S. listing would further open up the door to an investor base that lends a greater multiple toward growth, and also potentially provide easier access to capital to fund expansion plans.

Shares of Sezzle jumped 8.7% in early trade to A$9.65, while larger peer Afterpay and Zip Co Ltd fell.

Last week, Afterpay said North America had become its biggest market and exploring a listing in the United States made sense to be closer to its largest market and where its investor base is concentrated.

Sezzle closed Thursday with a market value of over A$900 million ($699.48 million), more than four times where it started off 2020 before the growth explosion in the sector.

In a statement, the Minneapolis-based fintech said the timing, price and use of proceeds from the proposed U.S. IPO had yet to be decided.

Separately, Sezzle reported a more than trebling of the value of transactions it processed in the first quarter to $375.1 million.

The company’s focus is the United States and Canada, and despite being listed in Australia, it does not operate there.

It also flagged plans to launch in Brazil, using a similar low-cost strategy it has adopted in India and Europe.

($1 = 1.2867 Australian dollars)

Source: Read Full Article