You are not logged in and only seeing 7 days of articles. Please sign up or login to view more
Thursday 23 June 2022

Playter loses pay on a pivot

logoDo you remember a few weeks ago I asked you ‘when is a loan not a loan’? This was in a post I wrote about London-based SME-focused BNPL (Buy Now, Pay for the rest of your miserable Lives) start-up, Tranch, who called it an ‘advance’ (see Backers buy now hoping Tranch will pay later).

Well, here’s another definition: ‘an unsecured, non-revolving credit facility’. This is how London-based SME-focused BNPL startup, Playter, describes its service.

Now, I had written about them back in February 2021 when they were known as Playter Pay (actually their legal name is ImployApp Limited). At the time, Playter presented itself as ‘Klarna for recruitment’ – basically an invoice factoring service for businesses hiring staff from recruitment agencies (see Playter Pay factors in more dosh for recruitment invoice factoring).

I was sceptical about Playter Pay’s business model because although they charged fees to both the end-client and the recruiter, Playter also in effect underwrote the deal by offering a three-month replacement guarantee on every hire. Risky business!

It looks like Playter founder and CEO, Jamie Beaumont finally twigged this might be a problem and did a swift ‘pivot’. Beaumont was a former recruitment industry executive and had also launched a graduate recruitment platform, Offerd, under the covers of ImployApp prior to Playter. Beaumont's LinkedIn profile shows his association with Offerd ending in January this year, but the website is still active.

Back to the pivot.

Playter (sans 'Pay') is now a generic invoice factoring service for SMEs to pay down almost any invoice for professional or business services in instalments over six or twelve months. Clearly missing the irony in the answer to the FAQ, ‘Do you charge interest rates?’, the response, ‘Playter is built upon transparency – we do not charge interest rates, and there are no hidden fees. We charge a monthly subscription fee …’ is rather opaque as they don’t disclose the fee on the website. However, a PR alludes to £550 per month – not a drop in the ocean for a cash-strapped SME!

Playter has just raised a further $55m in a debt and equity funding round led by Adit Ventures and Fasanara Capital.

I don’t much like this business model either.

Posted by: Anthony Miller at 09:10

Tags: funding   startup   bnpl  

Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn   Email article link

© TechMarketView LLP 2007-2022: Unauthorised reproduction prohibited see full Terms and Conditions.