Lulalend has raised a R93 million ($6.5 million) Series A round co-led by IFC and Quona Capital.
“The biggest thing is strengthening our balance sheet so we can access traditional debt funding to grow our loan book,” Lulalend’s CEO Trevor Gosling told TechCrunch on a call.
The company added on its Twitter page that: “We can’t wait to put this investment to work supporting SA SMEs & helping close the significant funding gap that exists”.
Lulalend was founded in 2014 by Gosling and Neil Welman.
It utilises proprietary credit scoring technology to enable it to provide quick decisions, fast funding, and transparent pricing to SMEs.
Gosling is a Chartered Accountant with a strong entrepreneurial flair. His last e-commerce venture, 5ounces, was acquired by the Naspers group in 2013. He continued to work as the CEO after acquisition. He has worked in finance for 7 years: as an investment banker internationally with Goldman Sachs and in structured finance for 3 of those years with Rand Merchant Bank.
While Welman is a Chemical Engineer who has worked in the Investment Banking industry in London for over 10 years. His expertise lie in credit and derivatives risk, and rapid application development in these areas. Previous clients consulted to include Barclays Capital, Merrill Lynch/ Bank of America, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Tsb.
The new funding will help Lulalend scale in response to South Africa’s significant funding gap for SMEs.