BNPL Startup Uplift Notches $68 Million To Advance Travel Payments

boarding passes with face masks

Silicon Valley buy now, pay later (BNPL) startup Uplift has closed a $68 million credit line deal with Atalaya Capital Management. 

“This additional financing from Atalaya solidifies Uplift’s standing as the market leader in buy now, pay later for travel,” Uplift CEO Brian Barth said in a Thursday (Jan. 7) press release. “The injection of credit positions us to efficiently fund the rising transaction volume we anticipate as travel demand rebounds in 2021. It also frees up equity for us to launch important strategic growth initiatives next year.” 

With the anticipated bounceback of the travel industry in 2021, BNPL solutions are expected to become a mainstream tool for travelers. Uplift has raised about $695 million since it was founded in 2014 by Brian Barth and Stu Kelly.

The new monies will be used to help Uplift extend financing to people looking to plan a trip now and pay for it over time. The company anticipates that across the next 18 months, it will exceed $1 billion in leisure travel transaction volume. 

Uplift’s BNPL solution can be used at leading global travel brands such as United Airlines, Carnival Cruise Line, Southwest Vacations and others.

“Buy Now, Pay Later has become another mainstream way to responsibly pay for a variety of consumer purchases,” said James Intermont, principal, Atalaya Capital Management. “Uplift has a strong market position with an enterprise solution that works for merchants while making it easier for consumers to purchase leisure travel.” 

The pandemic has triggered a 70 percent decline in travel reservations, with expectations that it could take years before the sector returns to normal. There are currently no deals to be had for high-end travelers seeking adventures despite the costs. 

A PYMNTS BNPL study indicated the payment method was the fastest-growing and most talked option over the 2020 holiday shopping season. Shoppers of all ages have tapped zero-interest or low-cost installment plans. The March-September 2020 survey of almost 15,000 consumers showed that BNPL is on the rise.

In an interview with PYMNTS and Uplift CEO Brian Barth, UATP CEO Ralph Kaiser stressed the importance of alternative payment methods such as installment financing.