Zip Co acquires fashion search engine The Urge

Zip Co acquires fashion search engine The Urge

If your business model revolves around helping retailers lift sales through buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) offerings, why limit yourself to the fast money?

An $8.5 million acquisition announced by Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) today may pale into insignificance compared to more than $400 million worth of shares shelled out to buy US-based QuadPay, but it marks a large step into diversified retail services.

Zip Co has acquired all shares in Sydney-based technology company Urge Holdings, known for its fashion search engine The Urge as well as a "Shazam for fashion" app known as Shnap.

The deal involves an upfront consideration of around $3 million via the issue of 432,516 full paid ordinary Z1P shares to Urge shareholders, and includes $5.5 million in deferred 

The Urge was the brainchild of Cayley Ostrin (pictured centre), who co-founded the company in 2018 with her husband Doron (right) and enlisted Pierre Caserta (left) as chief technology officer after struggling to find the right bridesmaid dress for her best friend's wedding.

The trio developed technology that brought the world's top fashion designers and trusted stores together into one place.

"Since inception in 2018, the Urge has been helping shoppers find and buy the items they're looking for, driving increased sales, reach and exposure for its retail partners," Zip Co said in its announcement today.

"The Urge's team and its capabilities include expertise in search functionality, optimisation and indexation, all of which will be integrated into Zip's platform globally, beginning with the QuadPay app in the US."

The fintech also revealed the findings of a review from its remuneration committee, which found co-founders, CEO Larry Diamond and director Peter Gray earned significantly less than the median remuneration packages awarded to senior executives of peer companies.

Diamond's base salary has increased to $520,000 with a 50 per cent performance rights package, while Gray's base salary has risen to $500,000 with the same 50 per cent long term equity element.

The sharemarket did not respond positively to today's news however with Z1P shares down slightly by 0.45 per cent to $6.71, but this follows a sell-off in the wake of Westpac (ASX: WBC) offloading its holding in the BNPL player.

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