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S’pore BNPL startup Pace acquires competitor Rely for an undisclosed sum to expand its biz

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Singapore buy now, pay later (BNPL) startup Pace has bought over the assets of its competitor Rely for an undisclosed sum.

Pace will hire all of Rely’s employees in roles aligned to their previous capacities, it said. Existing merchants will also transition to Pace’s platform.

The deal will extend Pace’s reach to more brands in Singapore and Malaysia.

In 2019, Rely was valued at US$2.2 million when it raised US$674,750 in funding. In 2020, it announced that Polaris, a unit of Goldbell Financial Services, would provide capital for up to S$100 million in BNPL transactions.

Founded in 2017 by Hizam Ismail, Mohamed Abbas, and Prakash Raja, Rely was the first BNPL player in Singapore. Its partner retailers include Qoo10 Singapore, Zalora, and JD Sports.

Pace currently has 5,000 points of sale across Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Japan. It’s set to have one million users and US$1 billion in annualised gross merchandise value by the end of this year.

Last November, Pace secured US$40 million to expand into Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

The BNPL industry has been consolidating, as larger players attempt to capture market share to increase their presence and enter new territories faster.

BNPL startup hoolah was acquired by cashback startup ShopBack late last year.

Observers have identified the BNPL industry to potentially create unicorn startups and grow the new superapps.

Popular BNPL service providers in Singapore continue to be Atome, Hoolah, Rely, Pace, Grab PayLater, and FavePay Later. Newcomers in this space include OctiFi and Split.

There’s also Zip, which entered the Singapore market through an exclusive partnership with Singtel’s Dash this February.

For 2022, BNPL payments in Singapore are expected to grow 52.6 per cent on an annual basis to reach US$773.9 million, according to analytics firm Research and Markets.

Featured Image Credit: Freepik

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