Irish fintech giant Wayflyer lands $1bn deal with US firm

6 Sep 2023

From left: Jack Pierse (who recently left the company) and Aidan Corbett. Image: Naoise Culhane

CEO and co-founder Aidan Corbett said Wayflyer has seen soaring demand for its financing services from e-commerce companies, especially in the US.

Wayflyer, the e-commerce financing start-up and one of Ireland’s tech unicorns, says it has secured $1bn in capital from US investment management firm Neuberger Berman.

The latest deal, which comes just months after Wayflyer renewed its $300m debt line led by JP Morgan, will help the fintech meet growing demand for capital from US e-commerce customers.

Founded in 2019 by Jack Pierse and Aidan Corbett, Wayflyer provides e-commerce businesses with loans to kick-start their business or improve cash flow in exchange for a share of their future profits.

Since its founding, Wayflyer has seen a meteoric growth in its business. Last year, following a funding raise of $150m, it became one of Ireland’s tech unicorns.

It has been expanding since then, growing its team and making a series of senior hires. It also signed a major sponsorship deal last year with Irish golfer Shane Lowry and snapped up creator funding provider Peblo in its first big acquisition.

“The global e-commerce sector is expected to continue growing rapidly in the coming years,” said Zhengyuan Lu, managing director at Neuberger Berman.

“We’re always looking for innovative partners that provide genuine value in the space and have been thoroughly impressed by Wayflyer’s model and experienced team.”

Wayflyer hopes that the latest off-balance sheet programme from Neuberger Berman, along with its other recent developments that have boosted its financial position, will help the start-up reach its eventual goal of profitability.

Corbett, who is Wayflyer’s CEO, said that despite the “current economic conditions” the start-up is seeing growing demand for its financing services, especially in the US market.

“Our customers come back to us again and again as a trusted partner that not only provides access to funding, but also the e-commerce expertise needed to fuel their growth ambitions,” he said.

“This $1bn off-balance sheet purchase of assets from Neuberger Berman demonstrates the power, success and resilience of our proposition and will provide the capital firepower for us to ensure our e-commerce customers can continue to thrive in any economic conditions.”

In July, co-founder and chief financial officer Jack Pierse announced his departure from the tech unicorn to pursue a new venture. “As a founder, Jack has made an enormous contribution to the business, including coming up with the original idea for Wayflyer,” Corbett said at the time.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic