LONDON, September 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
10 minute access to funds to stock up for Christmas sales rush
Ezbob, a new microfinancing company for online merchants, has launched its service in the UK this week. It will make working credit of up to £20,000 available instantly to eBay and Amazon Marketplace sellers through automated underwriting.
According to its CEO and Co-founder, Tomer Guriel, Ezbob is aimed at small e-retailers typically with under £1million in annual turnover, for whom securing funding from traditional sources can be challenging.
"Traditional credit providers simply do not have the know-how and technology needed to cater to this unique market's financing needs," he explained. "Banks struggle to assess online sellers adequately, given their small size, low turnover and the intangibility of their business. Furthermore, conventional credit approval takes between five and eight weeks - not to mention all the paperwork involved. This is too protracted for online sellers who often need rapid access to funds for their growth."
According to IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group) UK e-retail sales in 2012 are estimated to reach £77billion, and e-retail now accounts for 17 per cent of the total UK retail market.
Ezbob's UK launch comes at a time when online merchants will be looking to buy stock or hire more staff ahead of the Christmas sales rush.
How it works
Unlike banks or trade finance companies, the entire application and underwriting process is automated and typically takes less than 10 minutes.
Once applicants have entered their online business's details, Ezbob's systems automatically access all available information. Importantly, the company's credit scoring does not rely solely on traditional credit rating agencies. It uses information available through sources such as Amazon, eBay and Paypal to evaluate sellers' operating performance and their ability to service debt. This process also takes into account the customer satisfaction ratings the business has received online.
Depending on Ezbob's internal rating an e-retailer can borrow up to £20,000 for a period of three to six months and at a monthly rate of 2%-7%. Loans are unsecured and only require a personal guarantee. There are no early repayment fees and, according to Guriel, no 'hidden' charges.
The company is currently able to finance any qualified e-retailer who has a shop on Amazon or eBay, and is planning to extend the service to e-retailers selling on other marketplaces such as Google Shopping, Play.com and Yahoo Shopping.
Reinventing e-retail financing
One of Ezbob's beta-testers, Roy Loewenber from WWRetailers, with shops on both Amazon http://www.amazon.com/shops/A1Y7VBSGYYHY4P and
eBay http://myworld.ebay.com/wwretailers/, commented: "For me, Ezbob has re-invented how a business like mine can acquire financing. The problem I faced as an online seller is that traditional banks do not understand the business of e-retail. I don't have time for sophisticated projections, business plans and visits to the local branch."
"My business is very straightforward: I source product and sell it online. My pricing is strongly dependent on competitors' prices, and my profit heavily reliant on the purchase price I pay. In the past, cash flow issues would have stopped me from purchasing discounted product. Ezbob's instant online credit service has resolved this once and for all."
Ezbob is the trading name of Orange Money Ltd., a privately-held UK company. It was founded in 2011 by Tomer Guriel, a former investment banker at JP Morgan alongside entrepreneur and financier, Sharone Perlstein.
Ezbob secured £450,000 in seed funding from Amir Bramely at Extreme Credit Systems, in November 2011, and completed a Series A funding round earlier this year, raising a further £2 million led by Hagshama Fund.
For more information:
Andrea Willige, Six Degrees
Business development enquiries:
Sharone Perlstein, Ezbob