Sezzle’s Revenue Grew Tenfold in 2019
Sezzle CEO Charlie Youakim (Photo courtesy of Sezzle)

Sezzle’s Revenue Grew Tenfold in 2019

The company’s net loss also grew, according to the company’s 2019 report to shareholders.

Minneapolis-based fintech firm Sezzle saw its revenue grow tenfold in 2019, according to the company’s year-end report to shareholders.

Last year, the company reported total revenue of $16 million, up from $1.6 million in 2018. Though Sezzle’s sales skyrocketed, its net loss also grew. In 2019, the company — which is publicly traded on the Australian Stock Exchange — reported a net loss of $16.5 million compared to a loss of $4.1 million in the prior year.

Sezzle CEO Charlie Youakim says a large chunk of the company’s expenses stems from building out its workforce. At 2019’s end, the number of Sezzle employees more than doubled to 133. Compensation related expenses, estimated at about $8.4 million, made up nearly 65 percent of the company’s total spending in 2019. That marked a big uptick from $2.3 million in the prior year.

“We’re a smaller public company, and we’re still in growth mode,” Youakim said in an interview late last week. “It’s not our key focus to drive profit.”

It’s not unusual for young companies to run a loss in their earlier years. Amazon, founded in 1994, didn’t turn a profit until 2001. Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft still aren’t profitable, though they’ve both said they expect to be within the next few years.

Sezzle’s main goal in the interim is to add more merchants to its “buy now, pay later” platform, Youakim said. The company, which allows customers to buy products online and divide payments over six weeks, counted 10,010 merchants in 2019, up nearly 350 percent from 2018. And, of course, the company aims to continue growing its customer base, too.

Last month, the company surpassed 1 million customers. In 2018, Sezzle counted 155,267 customers. At the same time, both borrowing and processing costs have declined. When might those numbers translate to profit?

“It’s hard to give a timeline,” Youakim said. “But profitability improves as you scale up.”