New York-based alternative lending startup, Bread, secured a $14.3m Series A round, led by Bessemer Ventures. Bread developed a pay-over-time button on retailer websites, allowing merchants to receive full price on merchandise while collecting monthly payments with interest from the consumer. Bessemer hasn't invested in the space since 2006, when the fund invested in p2p lender Zopa. The integration to retailer website's is what attracted Bessemer to Bread from their numerous competitors in the lending space.
“They are thinking about this as a holistic marketing solution for merchants,” said Mr. Birnbaum, vice president at Bessemer. Best Buy leads you to Citigroup C +0.16%’s website to open a credit card to finance your laptop purchase, for example. In a typical online financing scenario, there’s a “checkout button that drives you off the retailer’s page,” said Josh Abramowitz, chief executive and co-founder of Bread. A Bread customer, by contrast, such as furniture seller Interior Define would allow you to pre-qualify for a loan via a pop-up window on its own site and to see the monthly payment options for a variety of items while browsing the site and not just at checkout.