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New SME banking platform by Lulalend gets go ahead

The South African Reserve Bank has given its regulatory approval for a new partnership designed to exclusively serve the SME sector. The collaboration has been developed through a partnership between Lulalend and Access Bank South Africa Ltd.

The new platform, called Lula, has been specifically designed to address the most common challenges SMEs face when managing their finances.

Despite being a vital cog in the economic development of the country, SMEs remain underserved by traditional banking institutions. Frequently cited frustrations from business owners include high and hidden costs, impersonal or slow service, and difficulty accessing funding. This in turn impacts their bottom line through an increase in the cost and complexity of financial management. In a tough economy, for many SMEs this ultimately becomes a challenge that reduces growth and threatens survival.

The launch of Lula will solve these challenges.

According to Trevor Gosling, CEO of Lulalend, this next step in the company’s evolution is a transformative one. “Lula’s banking offering will allow us to reach more SMEs and empower them to succeed. We have seen a need to broaden our offering beyond providing access to working capital, and we will now be able to remove the hassles of cash flow management, allowing business owners to focus on growth.”

Through its partnership with Access Bank, Lulalend’s new business banking platform will offer SMEs the ability to open an account online in minutes, tools to simplify cash flow management and improve decision making, instant customer support and even faster access to business funding.

“We see SMEs as the lifeblood of the South African economy, and we are committed to play a role in helping small businesses grow and develop. Our partnership with Lulalend will aid them in growing their offering and play a valuable role in making banking services accessible to SMEs,” says Natasha Archary, Senior Manager of Product and Business at Access Bank.

Established in 2014 by Gosling and co-founder Neil Welman, Lulalend has enabled business owners to access working capital within 24 hours via it’s AI-driven online platform. Since its inception, it has disbursed billions of Rand in business funding to thousands of SMEs.

After securing US$ 6.5m in Series A funding in 2019 from the International Finance Corporation and Quona Capital, Lulalend has built a loyal and fast-growing customer base through the seamless and responsive experience it offers SMEs looking to access capital.

“By simplifying cash flow management, the launch of Lula will enable business owners to focus on what really matters. We are optimistic about making a meaningful impact on our economy through this partnership,” says Gosling and Archary.

For more information visit lula.co.za.

Useful resources:
Lulalend
As South Africa's first online provider of business finance, we provide short-term, unsecured business funding of up to R2 million to SMEs who have been in operation for at least one year and are making a monthly turnover of R40 000.
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