The Zip (ASX:Z1P) share price is the best performing BNPL of 2021

Zip shares have grown 35% in 2021.

zip, zip share price, zip BNPL

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ASX buy now, pay later (BNPL) shares have exploded in popularity recently and the Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) share price is the fastest growing one in 2021.

Shares in Zip are up nearly 35% since the beginning of the year. The only other BNPL company with a market capitalisation above $500 million to even grow this year is Sezzle Inc (ASX: SZL). It's up almost 32% over the same time.

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) is down 9% in 2021, Latitude Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: LFS) is 11% lower, and Humm Group Ltd (ASX: HUM) is 9.3% off its price at the end of 2020.

Let's take a look at some of the bigger stories that have rocketed the Zip share price.

What's sent the Zip share price higher?

In 2021, Zip's ventured to different parts of the globe. It's expansion into North America via QuadPay helped to drive a 103% increase in transaction volumes and an 88% increase in revenue in Q2.

40% of all Zip's revenue for the quarter was derived from its North American business. Also this year, Zip made expansions into Asia as well as Europe and the Middle East. The Zip share price rose on the days these updates were announced.

Domestically, Zip's been working to expand its reach into more retail settings. For example, Zip partnered with JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) earlier this year to make it easier for customers to pay with its product.

Investors and analysts have also taken a liking to the BNPL provider. Swedish rival Klarna bought a 4% stake in the company and Bank of America Corp (NYSE: BAC) now owns a 7% interest.

For the broader BNPL industry, there have been several stories that have affected Zip's share price. Certainly, Zip is not immune to anything that affects BNPLs generally.

The biggest story of the year was the entering of PayPal and the rumoured emergence of Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) into the market.

This story sent BNPL shares tumbling, including Zip.

It should be noted while the Zip share price has performed admirably this year, it is 48% lower than its all-time peak of $14.53 in early 2021.

Foolish takeaway

While Zip is the best BNPL performer of 2021, Afterpay has done nearly 3x better over 12 months. Afterpay is up 43% in that time while Zip has only grown 15%. It just goes to show the market can be a volatile and unpredictable beast.

Bank of America is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO, Apple, and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has recommended the following options: long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple and short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Apple and Humm Group Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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