French startup Alma is raising a $59.4 million Series B funding round (€49 million). The company has been building a new payment option for expensive goods. You can choose to pay over three or four installments. This product sounds familiar if you’ve used Klarna in the past. But Klarna isn’t available in France.
Cathay Innovation, Idinvest, Bpifrance’s Large Venture fund, Seaya Ventures and Picus Capital are participating in today’s funding round. In addition to today’s equity round, Alma is raising a credit line of $25.5 million (€21 million) to finance merchant payments.
What makes Alma attractive to merchants is that the startup is handling 100% of the risk involved with a payment over multiple installments. When a customer buys a bike over four installments, they’ll get charged over several months. But the merchant gets paid on day one.
Since I first covered Alma, the startup has launched the ability to pay later. You enter your card information right now but you get charged 15 days or a month later. It can be particularly useful if you’re unsure about something you’re buying and if you think there’s a chance you’ll send it back.
And it’s an attractive option in France where debit cards are the norm — not credit cards. Alma also plans to offer longer plans, such as the ability to buy now and pay over 6, 10 or 12 installments.
Thanks to the new influx of cash, the startup plans to triple the size of its team and reach €1 billion in annual payment volume within two years. It’s also going to expand to other countries, but with a specific focus on helping French merchants reach European customers living in other European countries.