South African fintech startup Lulalend has launched a new payments platform designed to radically improve the speed and ease with which SMMEs get paid by their customers.
Founded in 2014 by Trevor Gosling and Neil Welman, Lulalend utilises proprietary credit scoring technology to enable it to provide quick decisions, fast funding, and transparent pricing to SMEs.
The startup, which last June raised Series A funding of US$6.5 million to help it scale, has now launched Lulapay, which has been designed to help SMEs get their invoices paid faster, and as a result more effectively manage their cash flow.
With Lulapay, businesses selling to other businesses will receive immediate payment for invoices issued, while still being able to offer their customers payment terms of up to 90 days. The platform makes use of bespoke AI-driven technology to simplify and speed up the process of getting paid, without putting strain on customer relationships.
“We can help SMEs today by getting invoices paid faster. Business owners have told us that allowing their customers to pay over a period of time is essential for SMEs to attract and retain customers. And for the customer, not having to pay the full amount up front helps them invest in other growth opportunities. Despite these benefits, the ultimate impact of the traditional approach to managing trade credit is that cash still flows too slowly through the system. With Lulapay, we believe there’s a better way,” said Thomas McKinnon, head of product at Lulalend.
Suppliers will now receive immediate payment for invoices directly from Lulalend, with Lulapay facilitating this at no cost to the seller. Lulapay will offer the customer up to 90 days to pay off the invoice amount, and if the buyer is able to settle in full within the first 30 days, they will not be charged any fees.
“The launch of Lulapay, a first of its kind in South Africa, is another step towards delivering on our mission of enabling SMEs to get fast, easy and fair access to the finance they need to grow. At a time when we will be relying on these businesses to drive our economic recovery,’’ said Mckinnon.