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Financial Innovator Drives E-Commerce

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April 22nd, 2022




Alexander Antic

The global online commerce market, estimated at EUR 4.5t as of 2021, continues to grow rapidly, accounting for around 13% of total retail sales in Europe. For reference, more than 75% of European internet users bought goods or services online in 2021. As a result, the number of online merchants and suppliers is snowballing in Europe. As a result, nearly one third of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with 10+ employees have an online store in Europe – and SMEs represent 99% of all businesses in the EU. As online shopping continues to skyrocket, so does the need for alternative lenders to fill the void left by traditional banks. You should read on if you are looking for a primary venture investment opportunity with downside protection that sits right at the intersection of the massive global e-commerce boom and the transformation of financial services.

What Traditional Banks Miss: Alternative Financing For Online Retailers

The traditional banking industry isn’t always able to offer SMEs what they need to succeed. According to an Ernst & Young study, “traditional bank offerings are not always tailored for small business needs.” In fact, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of respondents said that “bank loans do not meet their specific needs.” And more than half (54 percent) said they were “not satisfied with existing products and services.” That’s where alternatives like FulFin come in—in a big way. In fact, according to Ernst & Young, 86% of SMEs are happy to consider alternatives to traditional bank loans—and 11% have already made use of this option. The industry of alternative funding for online retailers has exploded over the past years, with over 1.5m and 1.75m of merchants in Amazon and Shopify accordingly as of 2021. Small and medium-sized retailers seek non-dilutive financing options, away from giving away equity to gain liquidity. Those who have considered Thrasio or Upgrade in the past are well aware of the immense potential of the overall ecosystem.

Alternative Lending Is Coming To A Business Near You

Alternative lending is a type of financing offered outside of traditional banking systems to provide quick, convenient access to capital for companies that cannot secure loans from a bank or other financial institution. Alternative lenders are also known as “non-bank lenders” and include peer-to-peer lenders, crowdfunding platforms, and FinTechs (financial technology startups). Alternative lending is poised to become a USD 1 trillion industry by 2025.

What Makes Alternative Lenders Unique?

Speed – Traditional banks can take weeks or even months to approve a loan application. Alternative loans can be approved in as little as 24 hours. Flexibility – Traditional banks often have rigid requirements for what they’ll lend money for, like real estate purchases or business expansion. Alternative loans can be used for any business expense. Personalization – Traditional banks typically require businesses to submit extensive documentation, including tax returns and profit/loss statements. Alternative loans focus on more recent data sources like cash flow and merchant sales history.

FulFin – The First Alternative Lender Targeting Amazon Sellers

The Munich-based fintech company Fulfin taps into a unique virtuous cycle: It solves the short-term liquidy needs of high-growth online retailers. Launched in 2018, Fulfin provides fully integrated alternative lending solutions at the cutting edge of technology. It joins the selected group of venture-backed companies (Clearco, Wayflyer and Pipe) that support the growth of online SMEs with easy and flexible debt solutions. The innovative startup allows small and medium-sized retailers to borrow money against their online sales at attractive interest rates of 3% per month or less. This is lower than any other type of financing, including credit cards and different types of loans that can charge even 100% per month! Fulfin has been recognized by media outlets like TechCrunch, Forbes, Bloomberg and Entrepeneur Magazine as one of the leading companies in the fintech space. Its partnerships are so effective that FulFin consistently fares well against its competitors in the alternative lending space. Their credit model scores higher than all but one competitor, and their customer satisfaction scores are consistently ranked above average among the other lenders. According to Crunchbase, Fulfin has raised EUR 5.7 million across five funding rounds. The latest one raised EUR 1 million in debt in January of 2021.

Fulfin Is Building the Lending Technology That Will Transform Finance

FulFin has additionally created Freemium, an easy-to-use online platform for cash management, liquidity forecasting, performance benchmarking, and scenario simulations to source potential clients and support the efficient operational growth of SMEs. What makes FulFin unique among other lenders: combining an integrated cloud-based liquidity and financial planning tool with loan issuance. This perfectly blends technology and financial services know-how to deliver a superior product to its customers. In addition, they use machine learning technology that allows them to analyze data and make predictions about future trends based on those data points. But FulFin doesn’t stop there—they also give customers access to a budgeting app that helps them plan out their finances and better understand how much money they will need in the future to keep their businesses running smoothly. Apart from providing SMEs a solid finance planning tool, Fulfin’s platform can expand its potential client base and simultaneously filter that user base only to contain qualified borrowers.

Contact Stableton Or Sign Up To Explore Our Investment Opportunities

In the past, accessing the opportunities such as FulFin meant seeking early access through venture capital funds (which, once well-established, might not even be interested in your commitment). In addition, it involved high investment minimums, cumbersome paperwork, scarce information (often not even knowing what you will be investing in), and long holding periods. Today, there is an alternative. Stableton is Switzerland’s leading provider of access to late-stage venture capital & pre-IPO Investments to smaller qualified investors. Our mission is to help investors get access to the otherwise secluded private investment market. With a minimum of CHF 10’000, this type of investing should be considered as part of a portfolio. This article only scratches the surface of the opportunities late-stage VC and pre-IPO investing present. Contact your Stableton representative now to learn more and find out about opportunities that exist right now.

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