Telkom partners with fintech to support SMEs


With the lockdown having impacted South African businesses, Yellow Pages has teamed up with Fundrr to offer loans for telecommunications and market support to businesses wanting to grow.

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

Lunga Siyo, CEO of Telkom Business, Yep and Yellow Pages says: “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 provides one of the quickest turnarounds on business loan applications in the market. The application and onboarding are completed online in under eight minutes and responses are provided within 24 hours.

It offers loans for South African businesses in any industry 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.

Funding is typically used to buy stock, open new stores, purchase equipment, undertake renovations or expand the business.

If Telkom Business and/or Yellow Pages clients qualify for a loan, Fundrr will fast-track the funding.

Companies that are now Telkom Business or Yellow Pages clients who wish to become one and successfully apply for funding, will have first six-months of their Yellow Mystart subscription paid by Fundrr.

Fundrr CEO Idan Jaan says: “We realised that new and innovative ways to evaluate small businesses for credit are needed. So few SMEs actually qualify for funding and there’s a desperate demand for financial assistance, particularly during this pandemic.

“There’s insufficient government support available and banks lack the appetite and understanding how to underwrite small businesses. The copious amount of paperwork and long turnaround times preclude small businesses accessing the working capital they require.

“Consequently, we 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. These various data inputs, produce a Fundrr Score, and on this basis, we provide loans fast to small businesses ranging from R20 000 to R500 000.”

Repayment of loans is also tailored. “We analyse the cash flow patterns of the business and recommend a repayment structure that best suits their income either daily, weekly, bi-monthly or monthly over a three to 12-month period,” says Jaan.

Rates of interest vary depending on the strength of the business. Lower risk businesses can expect to pay lower rates.

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.

Businesses will only qualify if they have not had any judgement, default or debt reviews in the past.

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