Payments startup Alma raises 115 mln euros to fund expansion across Western Europe

Feb 10 (Reuters) - French buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) platform Alma said on Thursday it had raised 115 million euros ($131 million) in equity funding as it seeks to speed up its expansion in Western Europe.

Alma’s latest fundraising round also drew 95 million euros in debt financing, bringing the total to 210 million euros.

The platform attracted new investors such as Chinese tech giant Tencent, which joined previous backers such as Eurazeo and French state-owned investment bank Bpifrance.

“We strive to be an efficient and sane alternative to traditional consumer credit,” co-founder and CEO Louis Chatriot said in a statement.

Launched three years ago, the startup offers a service that guarantees full payment to the merchant at the time of purchase, while the customer pays over time.

Alma - whose clients include French upmarket department store chains Galeries Lafayette and Printemps - said it would use the funds to grow in new and existing markets.

It plans to expand to the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Ireland, and Austria this year. ($1 = 0.8746 euros) (Reporting Dagmarah Mackos; Editing by Nick Macfie)