The e-commerce industry in South Africa has experienced a boom since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — and Black Friday was no exception….
ApexPeak is a micro lender that aims to loan money faster and easier than traditional banks would allow. Small companies in need of a smooth cash flow can borrow money from it to pay their invoices. Last year, the startup received seed investment from the Google-sponsored accelerator 88mph and is now raising a massive US$200-million to meet the growing demand of SMEs.
Using the company’s Global Receivables Fund, ApexPeak allows SMEs who are cash-strapped to sell their invoices in return for money. The business uses credit rating data as well as integration with the suppliers of the invoices. Since last year, the company got a bunch of insurance companies on board to make transactions less risky.
By mainly operating in South Africa and Singapore, so far ApexPeak approves three or more deals per week of which the average is US$70 000. In turn, ApexPeak charges a 2% service fee, making it very profitable.
Founded by South Africans John Fearon and Gakim Solomons, the company is also rooting for investors to come on board, saying that it offers above market ROI on short-term loans due to its efficient tech platform to deploy capital.
“Gakim Solomons has a fascinating insight into financing, which at the time of the interview I must admit we didn’t completely follow. However, neither Sylvia or I were in doubt that we wanted to take a punt on Gakim”, says Kresten Buch, founder and investor in 88mph.
ApexPeak points out that while other startups such as Capital Aid serve a similar purpose, it has the advantage of having setup shop in emerging markets. It says it’s well positioned in a market where businesses are growing faster and short term lending rates reaching above 15%.
Apart from the US$40 000 cash injection it got from 88mph last year, ApexPeak has further closed two follow-on rounds totalling US$1.8-million from Asian investors.
Image via Kyle Samson