Regular contributor, Darlene Menzies joins us to discuss the growth of her newest company FinFind.
The backbone of the South African economy is supported by small businesses, but businesses without a funding source are prone to failing or struggling to grow. The reality is that many small business owners are at a loss when it comes to where to look for funding and how to access it.
Finfind, a unique online aggregator of lenders and compelling one-stop-solution for access to finance for small businesses, which is backed by the Department of Small Business Development, has recently secured a large investment from Kingson Capital. The equity investment sees Kingson securing a 30% black-owned stake in the local fintech business and over and above the financial support, the deal includes the provision of substantial business support and development expertise. Additionally, Ross Jenvey, an experienced CFA professional and Kingson Capital General Partner, has also been appointed Chairman of the Finfind board.
“We invest in businesses that are disruptive in their industry, have high quality management and possess the ability to scale quickly in South Africa and internationally. Finfind meets all of those criteria and has already proved to be an excellent product market fit. We believe that it bridges a massive gap in assisting SMMEs with access to finance and is well-positioned to have a significant impact on the growth of this vital sector,” explains Gavin Reardon, Founding General Partner of Kingson Capital.
Finfind, an online platform that brings together the providers and seekers of small business finance with a focus on finance readiness, is the result of a five-year research and development initiative by USAID’s Financial Sector Program in South Africa, aimed at addressing the challenges of access to finance. Finfind is fortunate to enjoy the on-going support of USAID as well as its partners Business Leadership South Africa and the Banking Association of South Africa. Finfind is also supported and sponsored by the Department of Small Business Development, its primary public sector partner, and was launched in South Africa by the Minister of Small Business Development at the end of 2015. It has since attracted over 50 000 users and facilitated over 35 000 small business loan leads.
Reardon says that the business has multiple annuity revenue streams and is scalable to an international audience. Recent discussions with the US Senate Committee for Small Business and Entrepreneurship confirmed Finfind’s offering and its pioneering business model as an ideal fit and highly sought after solution by both first world and developing countries. The strategic partnership with USAID adds tremendous credibility to the business and an excellent channel for its international scaling plans.
CEO of Finfind, Darlene Menzies, also plays a huge role in the appeal as well as the success of the company. Reardon explains that quality of management is key in any investment decision.
“In the CEO of Finfind, we found an entrepreneur with proven innovative insight who is building her third fintech company. Darlene also has an extensive business network to tap into and an unrivalled drive to make Finfind a success. That combination is very hard to ignore as an investor.”
Reardon says, “For Kingson, this is about long-term partnership, working together to make Finfind a success. As a Venture Capital Fund, we are also interested in the database of small businesses that reside in Finfind and see opportunities for future commercial benefits for our core business of investing.”
Since the recent Kingson investment, in line with the company’s current business development focus, they have appointed a Joburg based Business Regional Development Manager, Liezl van Staden, who has over a decade of sales experience with Dimension Data and Microsoft SA.
Finfind is a compelling local innovation that is addressing a large gap in the fastest growing sector globally; it is definitely a South African fintech company to watch.
For more information go to www.finfindeasy.co.za
The main challenges hindering small businesses from accessing finance are:
- finance literacy
“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet”, stresses Menzies. With the launch of finfind in South Africa there is now little reason for businesses to be unable to properly prepare themselves to obtain the finance they need to survive and grow.
For more information go to www.finfindeasy.co.za
*SEDA is part of the Department of Small Business Development. finfind was officially launched by Minister Lindiwe Zulu on 30 October 2015.
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