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Lease-to-own fintech startup Kafene raises $18M to battle BNPL

September 13, 2022

Kafene, a lease-to-own startup aimed at underbanked consumers who don’t have access to traditional credit, raised $18 million in a Series B funding round.

While there are similarities to the buy now, pay later approach to making purchases, Kafene CEO Neal Desai emphasizes that his company’s model is different in a few ways.

For one, many argue that BNPL is just another form of debt — but packaged differently. Rather, Kafene’s agreements, according to Desai, are debt-free. Another way it differs, in his view, is that BNPL is often used for more “nice-to-have” purchases, while lease-to-own is primarily for “must have” buys, like refrigerators or tires, for example.

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