Alibaba, Capify to offer alternative financing for Australian small businesses
Securing financing for small businesses in Australia just got easier. Chinese ecommerce conglomerate Alibaba has announced a new partnership with alternative lender Capify to provide new financing options to SMEs in Australia.
According to the Australian Financial Review, the partnership will open the door to working capital for small and medium-sized enterprises in Australia, allowing users to obtain unsecured loans of between $5,000 and $400,000 from Capify using a unique credit scoring model.
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“We want to help make financing as accessible and efficient as possible for the 1.9 million Australian small and mid-sized enterprises that do business through Alibaba.com,” said Michael Mang, head of business development and marketing for Alibaba.com and for the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa regions.
With nearly two million buyers signed up to purchase products on the site, Australia is currently the third largest market for Alibaba.com.
“By linking the buyers on our platform to a leader in the alternative business lending space such as Capify, [and by offering] innovative financial packages for our members, we hope to help Australian SMEs to address their financing challenges and therefore encourage them to engage and capture opportunities from the global trading scene to further grow their business,” said Mang.
Since 2008, Capify has provided more than $1000 million unsecured loans in Australia. According to John De Bree, Australian managing director of Capify, the company expects to lend around $40 million to Australian SMEs over the next 12 months.
"We lend money to SMEs that can't get loans through banks because they're worried about risks and reputational risks. The banks won't give them overdraft or personal loans they come to us. It's unsecured, and it's the higher risk market we're going for.”
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“The collaboration will satisfy Alibaba.com’s customers’ financing needs with a tailored product to help grow their business,” said De Bree.
According to Alibaba, the company is committed to its core business of buying and selling.
"The purpose of the collaboration with Capify is to increase traffic and encourage more people to buy things on the internet. We're not competing with banks and we're not trying to create competition here. Buying and selling is the core of our business. We want to make it easier to buy online anywhere, any time." Mang said.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.