New York Fintech Katapult Makes Executive Hires Following an HQ Move to Plano

Katapult, a growing player in the "buy now pay later" market, is also getting ready to go public following a merger with SPAC FinServ Acquisition Corp.

Following its relocation to North Texas, Katapult, an omnichannel lease-purchase platform, is making big moves to develop its footprint in the region.

Katapult Group, which employs some 100 employees, is a provider of eCommerce point-of-sale lease-purchase options for nonprime consumers in the U.S. The intent is to offer alternative solutions for retailers and consumers: Katapult’s technology seamlessly integrates with online platforms to allow businesses to expand their customer base, increase traction, and grow revenue.

Nonprime consumers fall between subprime and prime, meaning their credit scores do, too. CNBC notes that nonprime borrowers typically miss out on qualifying for the best credit cards and loans with favorable terms (while prime borrowers have more access).

With Katapult only focusing on nonprime, they’re reaching consumers who typically might be denied financing from prime-focused buy now pay later (BNPL) companies, like Affirm and Afterpay.

According to the company, its partners that have implemented lease-purchase point-of-sale payment solutions are able to reach and convert new shoppers, gain strong customer loyalty, and lower default risk.

Katapult’s mission is to operate with a consumer-centric focus. The company ensures an “efficient application and approval process” and gives its eCommerce and omnichannel retail partners “transparent and tailored payment terms.” So far, Katapult has teamed up with hundreds of retailers across the country.

Experts have already called Katapult a leader in the buy now pay later market. As the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered consumers’ shopping preferences, many predict the company as a major player amidst the shift to online commerce and alternative financing solutions.

In Q1 of this year, Katapult completed its headquarters move from New York to Plano. On the heels of that, the company announced a new partnership with Motorola Mobility, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Lenovo that designs and manufactures smartphones and mobile handsets.

With the deal, Katapult became a checkout option for Motorola, meaning that its lease-purchase solution now gives consumers with no or developing credit a way to access Motorola’s mobile devices.

“Our partnership with Katapult furthers Motorola’s mission to bring smarter technology to all,” Rudi Kalil, VP and general manager, North America at Motorola, said in a statement. “We’re excited to offer our passionate consumers yet another way to access the many innovations we’re bringing to the U.S. market.”

Following that news, Katapult brought on Tahmineh “Tammy” Maloney as its new general counsel. Maloney will be tasked with overseeing legal compliance throughout the company while working in tangent with COO Derek Medlin.

Most recently, Maloney was the general counsel of E*Trade Bank, a role in which she was responsible for advising on federal and state banking regulations, M&A, investments, cryptocurrency, banking products and activities, and payments. In all, she has more than seventeen years of experience in legal and advisory roles, and has spent time in the fintech space, according to a news release.

“I am excited that Tammy has joined our organization as General Counsel,” Medlin said in a statement. “Her experience at leading financial services organizations and important regulatory agencies will support our strong focus on innovation and growth while maintaining our laser focus on compliance and great consumer experiences.”

The news all comes amidst Katapult getting ready to go public. On December 18, 2020, the company entered into a definitive merger agreement with SPAC FinServ Acquisition Corp., giving an enterprise value of around $1 billion for the combined company.

The deal included a $150 million private investment in public equity, led by Tiger Global Management and Neuberger Berman Funds. Once the transaction is closed, the combined company will operate as Katapult and trade under “KPLT” on the Nasdaq.

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