Online marketplace MyDeal enters the fintech game with SME retailer loans through Prospa


Sean Senvirtne, CEO, MyDeal

Featured | Startup

By James Harkness

Online retail marketplace MyDeal.com.au has partnered with small business lender Prospa to offer its listed retailers loans to accelerate their growth.

Retailers who list their products through the MyDeal marketplace can now apply for a business loan of up to $250,000 directly through their supplier management system and, in the case of loans under $50,000, funding is guaranteed in under 24 hours.

Founded by CEO Sean Senvirtne in 2011, MyDeal was operated as a bootstrapped ecommerce startup until April, this year, when its secured a $5 million in funding from Gandel Invest to capitalise on a growth rate of 480% over a period of three years. According to the Melbourne-based entrepreneur, the MyDeal marketplace now boasts two million customers and more than 1000 retailers, with 40,000 consumer products available across 900 categories.

Senvirtne spoke to Dynamic Business about the value the MyDeal Marketplace Loans will generate for both his business and listed retailers.

DB: What prompted your decision to diversify into fintech with a loan offering?

Senvirtne: MyDeal is a rapidly evolving company that is always improving and introducing new processes to support its ecosystem of retailers and customers. Our mission, since day one, has been to help SMEs succeed online and if there are any opportunities in the market to promote the growth of our retailers we will leverage them.

Our decision to offer SME retailers loans was prompted by knowledge, built up over six years in operation, of common cash flow barriers to their growth, including issues around inventory control acquisition. We’re helping listed retailers to address the risk of inventory selling out when demand spikes so they can seek to maximise sales during peak sales periods. Due to the fact that Prospa are a direct SME lender and offer flexibility in their processes, there was great alignment between our business and theirs.

DB: What criteria do listed retailers need to meet to qualify for a loan?

Senvirtne: They need to have been trading as a business for at least six months and be generating a minimum of $10,000 in revenue per month. On average, our retailers generate $250,000 additional revenue through the MyDeal Marketplace per month. Melbourne-based retailer Klika has grown 600% through the platform in the last 12 months alone.

DB: What are the terms of the MyDeal Marketplace Loans?

Senvirtne: Loan terms are between 3 and 24 months, with the choice of daily, weekly or monthly repayments.  Unlike traditional bank loans, our pricing is based on a factor rate (multiple of the loan amount), which ranges from 1.08 to 1.36.

DB: Are the loans available to listed retailers purely for the acquisition of stock?

Senvirtne: The loans can be used for anything business-related, whether that’s securing a new product for distribution, infrastructure and warehouse expansion, covering ATO debt or bridging receivables gaps

DB: Was the launch of this offering timed to coincide with the Christmas period?

Senvirtne: For MyDeal, the Christmas period is one of our peak sales periods. As a data-driven business, we list in-demand and popular products, which tend to sell out very quickly with our sales events. Although site visitors continue to show interest in products that are out of stock, many retailers are unable to acquire more stock and leverage demand rapidly due to cash flow issues. Through the provision of the loans, we hope to leverage the demand for our retailer and maximise the potential sales in the peak sales periods. Based on our experiences, we do believe loans will increase for the purpose of inventory acquisition and increased operational costs (such as staff), to handle the growth in sales.

DB: What value will the loans generate for MyDeal? Will it future-proof the company?

Senvirtne: Removing barriers to the growth of our sellers and maximising their sales potential will lead to overall growth for the platform. Simply put, our sellers’ success is our success. Plus, we’re diversifying our offering for the sellers, introducing additional support to enhance their experience with us. In this way, our partnership with Prospa could introduce more retailers to – or inform them of – our marketplace.

See also: MyDeal no longer bootstrapped following $5m capital raise but will continue to be ‘very lean’ and Staying lean, adapting quickly: Sean Senvirtne on the rapid growth of his online marketplace.