By Riley Kaminer
Don’t sleep on Weston.
Ever since fintech scaleup SellersFi (formerly known as SellersFunding) moved from New York to the Fort Lauderdale suburb at the start of the pandemic, it has seen major growth. Should we call it “the Weston effect?”
“We are growing almost 50% year over year,” co-founder and CEO Ricardo Pero told Refresh Miami. “This is the first year that we’re not projected to grow over 100%, and I remember joking about this – that the first year that we grow less than 100%, I’m probably going to be depressed.”
But for those of you worried about Pero’s mental health, not to fear: “I’m not depressed because all things come. It’s still a good year for us on a relative basis. And we have accomplished so much in terms of the team and the company.”
Top of that list of accomplishments: an up to $300 million credit facility provided by Citi and Fasanara Capital. Additionally, today SellersFi announced a new equity funding round that includes an investment from Citi and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in addition to support from existing investors Fasanara Capital and Northzone. While the exact amount of this funding round remains undisclosed, the company confirmed that overall it has raised $65 million since inception in 2017. “This is notable news because it’s been a tough year for capital raising and for fintech,” said Pero.
This credit facility will enable SellersFi, an all-in-one financial platform that provides growing ecommerce merchants with quick, easy access to working capital, to expand its lending book to approximately half a billion dollars. Pero noted that this comes at a critical time for SellersFi’s core clientele: SMBs in the e-commerce space who have been hit particularly hard this year by high interest rates.
Tangibly, Pero shared that SellersFi’s average transaction size has dropped by 20-30%. “But our overall number of clients is still a record number for us.”
“Even though we set the credit limit for our clients, we’ve noticed recently that they are not maxing out their limits,” Pero continued. “That means that we are seeing a combination of softer consumer demand and a higher cost of capital. Our clients also have been more conservative in in withdrawing funds to purchase new inventory, invest in advertisement and so on. We are happy when clients are prudent and take this conservative approach as well because it means that they are managing their business in a good way.”
With these funds in tow, SellersFi plans to launch new solutions and continue to expand its offering of banking services. To enable this growth, the company will invest in the necessary tech and marketing. All the while, SellersFi is on the precipice of being cash-flow positive.
“Our investment in SellersFi reflects our commitment to supporting transformative businesses and deepening our capabilities in key growth sectors such as e-commerce marketplaces,” commented Christopher Cox, Head of Trade & Working Capital Solutions at Citi.
What’s the origin of SellerFi’s success? (Besides its South Florida relocation, of course?). A few factors. First, their exclusive focus on e-commerce customers. Second, their AI-powered underwriting model, including seven years of proprietary seller data. Third, the global nature of the firm, with SellersFi as the only global Amazon payment service provider. Fourth, the fact that SellersFi’s suite of unique data analytics and financial services it provides sellers.
A third of SellersFi’s 135 full-time employees are based in South Florida. Pero signaled that the company, a member of the global Endeavor Entrepreneur network, will continue to hire locally – especially in sales, customer support, compliance and operations.
Pero noted that the growth of South Florida’s tech scene has been exciting: “It’s great to have more peers here that I can network with.” But there’s a darker side: “As an employer, I’m less happy because the competition for talent has increased. It’s harder and takes us longer to find the right talent.”
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