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Telkom partners fintech Fundrr to provide SME loans

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 18 Aug 2020
Fundrr CEO Idan Jaan (Left) and CFO Jarred Noche.
Fundrr CEO Idan Jaan (Left) and CFO Jarred Noche.

Telkom Business has partnered with fintech firm Fundrr to offer loans to local SMEs which are listed on the Yellow Pages by Telkom Business online platform.

Since the introduction of SA’s strict lockdown regulations in March, most South African businesses have experienced devastating financial losses after halting operations during the initial stages of the lockdown.

This has resulted in a blow to the country’s small business sector, with scores of employees either taking pay cuts or losing their jobs.

Yellow Pages, which is a division of Telkom Business, provides a business directory and support packages that help small businesses develop their online visibility as well as grow their sales and branding into new markets.

The 70-year-old division recently introduced Yep!, an online marketplace as part of its efforts to help SMEs grow their sales and branding into new markets through e-commerce.

To further fast track the growth of SMEs, Telkom says its partnership deal with Fundrr will assist cash-strapped businesses to fuel growth through Fundrr’s online platform, which provides quick turnarounds on business loan applications.

The fintech’s application and on-boarding are completed online in less than eight minutes and responses are provided within 24 hours.

Lunga Siyo, CEO of Telkom Business, Yep and Yellow Pages, explains: “Online presence is more important than ever, especially during COVID-19.

“We offer all small businesses access to an online footprint which will enable growth and increased awareness within their sector. One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is access to funding, so we have teamed up with an alternative fintech lender for SMEs, Fundrr to round off our offering by providing a holistic support package.”

Fundrr says it has developed an automated credit model that analyses close to 100 data points that include data sources such as social media presence and online marketing presence to provide a more complete picture of a small business and its growth possibilities.

The fintech offers loans for South African businesses across all industries that have at least a 12-month track record with a minimum of R1 million turnover or asset value and which are operational under the current lockdown level.

Clients of Telkom Business and/or Yellow Pages qualify for a loan. SMEs which are not Telkom Business or Yellow Pages clients who wish to become one will be required to pay for their first six-months Yellow Mystart subscription, which will help their business to gain online traffic and increase its turnover through online revenue streams.

“We realised that new and innovative ways to evaluate small businesses for credit are needed,” explains Fundrr CEO, Idan Jaan.

“So few SMEs actually qualify for funding and there’s a desperate demand for financial assistance, particularly during this pandemic. There is insufficient government support available and banks lack the appetite and understanding of how to underwrite small businesses.”

Fundrr offers an early repayment incentive and specifies the amount of the loan, the duration and the total amount to be repaid upfront with no hidden fees.