Payments App Lydia Grabs Record Fintech Funding Round In France

French payments app Lydia has experienced accelerated growth since its launch in 2013, quickly becoming widely known throughout France. According to the company, approximately 30% of people below 30 are registered users in the country. The app enables quick and seamless payments between people, and even birthed the French slang, "Je te fais un Lydia" meaning “I'll Lydia you.”

Continuing its growth trajectory, Lydia has raised another $86 million in a Series B funding round. With the total funds raised for the French fintech now at $131 million, the funding makes history in the country as the biggest round for a fintech company. Leading the investment extension is VC firm, Accel, joined by current shareholders in the company like China's Tencent.

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Currently, the company is incorporating other services to its payment platform to establish itself as an all-around financial service provider. Customers can now get debit cards, money pots, and make direct deposits.

The coronavirus pandemic did little to stop the company, which saw its transaction volume on the mobile app double during the year. With its number of users now above 4 million, the company witnessed a bigger increase in registrations in 2020 than in any other year.

According to Lydia's Co-Founder and CEO, Cyril Chiche, 2020 came with uncertainties that have driven the younger, tech-savvy generation to seek better management and immediate assessment of their finances.

The funds raised in the investment round are expected to help the app extend its reach beyond France's shores. This is coming after many unsuccessful attempts to scale its services for international users, and even having to withdraw from the U.K. earlier in the year.

Lydia's efforts to expand to international customers will get a boost from Accel partner Amit Jhawar, who will become a board member. Jhawar previously worked with Venmo as a general manager, a similar app to Lydia in the U.S. His experience with mobile payments will be an incredible addition to the fintech company. There were speculations about Accel's interests in Lydia in May after a U.S. partner predicted that Lydia would bloom after the lockdown.

Interestingly, Lydia's running costs have been low, with its staff strength still under 100 employees. The company is expected to be profitable toward the end of 2021. Lydia has already received recognition as one of the leading fintech companies in France. Now, with the new funding to improve its services and expand its reach, the company's goal to become the leading financial app in Europe might just be within reach.