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    Date submitted
  • 28-Aug-2017

Finfind

Abstract

Finfind is an innovative online access to finance solution that matches providers and seekers of SME finance with a focus on finance readiness. Finfind aggregates all public and private sector finance offerings in one simple platform giving entrepreneurs easy access to any grant, debt and equity finance offerings available in the market that match their business profile and finance needs.

Finfind was launched in South Africa in October 2015 with over 200 finance providers and 350 finance offerings. It has over 90,000 users, has generated more than 40,000 SME loan leads and has collected comprehensive, compelling data on the country’s SME sector which is providing much needed guidance to government and other SME stakeholders on the make-up, needs and gaps of this vital sector. Finfind is provided free of charge to loan seekers through sponsorship by the National Department of Small Business Development. It derives its annuity and other income from a number of revenue streams including the sale of loan leads to lenders; commissions from lenders on successful loans; the sale of leads to accountants and small business advisors providing finance readiness services; the sale of leads to SME insurance providers; and the sale data to SME stakeholders.

In additional to lender matching, Finfind also provides entrepreneurs with finance education in the form of easy to read content about the common challenges to access to finance, descriptions of the various type of finance products and the different types of lenders. It also assists entrepreneurs with their finance readiness and compliance requirements for securing funding by providing access to accredited small business advisors and accountants across the country.

Finfind is supported by the Department of Small Business Development, USAID, Business Leadership South Africa, the Banking Association of South Africa and the National Institute for Chartered Accountants.

Video

Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Our USERS are entrepreneurs and business owners seeking access to finance i.e. start-ups or established micro, small or medium enterprises Our paying CUSTOMERS are: SME Finance Providers (public and private sector) SME Business Advisors, Accountants and Insurers Government Departments and programmes needing SME data Private Sector & Civil Society Stakeholders needing SME data

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

In short, Finfind solves the challenges experienced by both the providers and seekers of small business finance. Small businesses are the backbone of any economy and provide the majority of the job opportunities.Access to funding is a critical component of the survival and growth of this vital sector. Finfind undertook to understand and urgently address the challenges to SME access to finance. Entrepreneurs and small business owners experience the following access to finance challenges:: 1. Lack of finance literacy, not understanding finance terms and struggling to complete loan applications. 2. Not knowing who the various lenders are or what loan products are available. 3. Not knowing what each lender requires from them or what the loan eligibility and readiness criteria is. 4. Not knowing where to go to find this vital information. 5. Wasting valuable time and money submitting loan applications for loans they don’t qualify for or that they don’t have the necessary readiness documentation for. 6. Ultimately not being able to access the vital finance they need to survive and grow. Finance providers also experience challenges: 1. Receiving large volumes of loan applications where the majority are not finance ready, at times up to 80% of them. 2. The sorting and assessment of large volumes of rejected applications is very resource intensive and adds significantly to the cost of providing small business finance. 3. Ongoing struggle to find suitable businesses to lend to, they need access to a steady pipeline of finance ready viable businesses to lend to. Finfind addresses these systemic blockages and challenges.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Key success attributes: Multiple customer types (lenders to SMEs, SME business advisors and accountants, SME insurers, etc.) providing multiple annuity revenue streams. It is a unique online SME loan leads generator - already recognised for the value it provides, is backed by government and big business Big data - provides comprehensive, compelling data on a vital business sector that does not currently have good data Innovative model in the online lending space - aggregates all available finance offerings in one platform (not just one fund that offers online lending) Free to entrepreneurs, easy to use and accessible via mobile Addresses the #1 challenge (access to finance) in the fastest growing business sector globally (SMEs) Proven product/market fit - good early traction and market take up

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Finfind has a diverse, passionate and talented team of highly skilled professionals who are led by a visionary innovator and seasoned serial entrepreneur who is well networked and has a very good understanding of the target market. The team has worked together across different projects for a number of years - they have completely different strengths that when combined create a multiplying effect in terms of opportunity and growth. Finfind is a strong tech business that is providing financial services to SMEs, it is not a finance business who has employed a development team. As such, our advantage is our ability to keep innovating in line with the changing needed of he burgeoning SME market. The team has developed other SaaS offerings for the same market and has established good distribution channels that help achieve good take up.