This BNPL just saw stronger UK growth than Afterpay (ASX:APT)

In just 12 months, the ASX-listed Kiwi upstart has tripled its active customers in Britain, to lay down the gauntlet to Afterpay.

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A smiling young woman sits on a bridge in London checking her online shopping, indicating share price movement for ASX BNPL shares overseas

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ASX-listed buy now, pay later (BNPL) provider Laybuy Holdings Ltd (ASX: LBY) has tripled its UK active customer count and grown its merchants base by 433%.

The New Zealand fintech revealed this week in its full-year results that in the 12 months to 31 March, active customers in the UK went from 154,000 to 463,000.

Managing director Gary Rohloff said the business had the pedal to the floor in Britain.

“The UK has an addressable retail market of £394 billion, more than twice the size of the Australian market. It is also a market where BNPL is still in its infancy but is expected to grow quickly,” he said.

“Over the past year, we have accelerated our marketing activities, entered new strategic partnerships, invested in new technology and grown our staff numbers in the UK to take advantage of the opportunity provided.”

The number of participating merchants in the UK went from 335 to 1,785 in the past year. The gross merchandise value, which is the amount of sales that went through the platform, rocketed up 504%.

Rohloff said Laybuy was now “widely recognised” as one of the top 3 BNPL brands in Britain.

The Laybuy share price was up 2.73% on Friday morning, to trade at 56 cents. The company listed on the ASX back in September after an initial public offer price of $1.41.

Laybuy vs Afterpay

Laybuy’s UK growth actually outstrips that of Australian sector leader Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT).

Afterpay, for historical reasons, is known as Clearpay in Britain.

In the latest business update last month, Afterpay had grown its UK customer base 134%, from 800,000 to 1.8 million for the year ending 31 March.

So while Afterpay’s market share clearly still dwarfs Laybuy’s, the yearly growth falls short of the smaller rival.

Laybuy is hoping its virtual credit card and brand partnerships will further boost its European expansion in the coming 12 months.

“Laybuy is also finalising strategic partnerships with Rakuten Group Inc, Awin and Sovrn, which will see Laybuy customers having access to more than 5,000 merchants in the UK — including some of the country’s largest and most iconic brands such as ASOS, Nike, Marks and Spencer Group, easyJet, Amazon.com, Boots and eBay from Q2 in FY22,” said Rohloff.

“These partnerships will allow our customers to use Laybuy’s Tap to Pay digital card to shop and BNPL directly through the Laybuy app with these merchants, without the need for further merchant integration or direct relationship being required.”

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