In 2021, Amazon accounted for 56.7% of U.S. e-commerce sales. But typically Amazon is just providing the marketplace in which a patchwork of 9.7 million sellers from around the world peddle their wares.
The market is clearly large – and growing. Still, however, there is a major problem in the industry: access to capital.
Traditional financial institutions have trouble assessing these sellers’ businesses to provide them with a loan. Sometimes sellers end up turning to unsavory merchant cash advance companies that charge rates that are significantly above market average.
Weston-based SellersFunding offers an alternative approach. They are an all-in-one financial platform to help provide growing ecommerce merchants with quick and easy access to working capital. With SellersFunding, eCommerce businesses can get up to $5 million in as short as 48 hours, without their credit score taking a hit. The platform connects to 10 eCommerce platforms, including Amazon. They have a proprietary system, which includes AI models, to vet eCommerce businesses.
An infusion of cash can be critical in a seller keeping their competitive edge. For instance, SellersFunding’s speedy loan process helps compensate for lengthy, pandemic-induced supply chain and shipping issues that are rampant in the industry these days. Often these sellers use the capital they borrow for inventory purchases.
Another example: advertising spending. “We like to lend to companies that have a big budget for advertising spending because that means that they are building a brand and building a business,” Ricardo Pero, SellersFunding founder and CEO, told Refresh Miami.
“We usually see that companies with high advertising spending have higher profitability margins in the long term than companies that don’t spend as much there,” Pero continued.
On top of these loans SellersFunding also offers a series of auxiliary financial products such as prepaid business cards and a payments platform they call a digital wallet. The company has processed more than 20,000 funding applications thus far, and its clients have generated upwards of $4 billion in annual sales revenue.
Since the pandemic, SellersFunding has experienced hockey stick growth. The company has grown from 25 employees pre-pandemic to upwards of 180 now. A third of those employees are South Florida based, while the rest are distributed globally with offices in the UK and New York.
“Weston is a hub with a lot of international families,” Pero said, explaining the rationale of moving to South Florida from New York at the start of the pandemic. Pero immigrated to the US in 2000 from Brazil and worked in finance until 2016. At that time, he took on a consulting project for a few friends that were moving their wholesale business to Amazon. That gig showed him the opportunities present in the eCommerce space, eventually inspiring him to found SellersFunding in 2017.
At first, Pero and co-founder Fabio Knijnik self-funded SellersFunding, with the help of some family, friends, and angels. Since then, they have raised more than $274 million of external funding from three institutional investors. Pero signaled that the company will look to raise additional funds later this year.
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