Lydia raises $16.1 million to become the PayPal of mobile payments

Lydia raises $16.1 million to become the PayPal of mobile payments

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French startup Lydia is raising a $16.1 million round (€13 million) led by CNP Assurances with existing investors XAnge, New Alpha AM, Oddo BHF and Groupe Duval also participating.
Lydia isn’t the first startup that wants to replace PayPal, and also probably not the last one. But it’s clear that the company is slowly becoming mainstream in France. The company first focused on Venmo-like peer-to-peer payments but is now branching out to cover all sorts of transactions.
The product roadmap is quite simple. First, Lydia grabs new users thanks to free and instant transactions to pay back your friends. And now, the company is letting you use your Lydia account to pay in store, online and more.
For instance, you can pay on Cdiscount with your Lydia account, France’s second e-commerce website behind Amazon.fr. E-commerce websites usually ask you for your phone number for the delivery. When you choose Lydia as your payment method, you receive a push notification on your phone as your Lydia account is already linked to your phone number. After unlocking the app, you can use your Lydia balance or pay with your debit card without having to enter your card information on the e-commerce website.
When you want to pay in store, you first enter the amount and show a QR code to the cashier. For instance, it works in all Franprix supermarkets in France. The cashier can use the same barcode reader as they would use to scan products.
The idea is that you’re already using your phone when you’re waiting in line. With Lydia, you don’t have to put your phone back in your pocket or bag to find a card.
But what about Apple Pay and places that don’t accept Lydia? Lydia has launched a good old plastic card that is connected to your Lydia account. You can top up your Lydia balance with your personal IBAN, activate or deactivate features in real time and more. And if you don’t want yet another card, you can just enable the virtual card and add it to Apple Pay.
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