The Fintech Awards, hosted by Wealth & Finance for the fourth consecutive year, recognise outstanding digital innovations and technology-enabled business models across the FinTech market. Merchant Capital was the outright winner within the funding category, out of 15 nominated companies. Of these, 5 were competing in the sub-category of Small Business Funding.
Merchant Capital Founder and CEO Dov Girnun said the award recognised the company’s innovative approach to providing financing solutions for South African SMEs. Over the past seven years, the company has assisted more than 7000 SMEs with working capital to the tune of more than R1.5 billion.
“We’re delighted to get global recognition for our business model and approach. Our founding principle was to support small business in good times and bad, and to provide our clients with innovative solutions that evolve according to the changing business environment,” said Girnun. “This principle has been tested to its limits during the COVID pandemic, so to receive this award is a great endorsement.”
Winners were chosen by an independent judging panel, which conducted its own merit-orientated research and scrutinised information across a range of mediums. To advance from nominee to category winner, awardees had to demonstrate expertise within their field, dedication to client service, and a commitment to excellence and innovation.
“The fintech market has evolved at a rapid pace and continues transforming and innovating the financial services sector in areas such as payments, lending, personal finance and banking to name but a few. Providing safer and more reliable solutions to a myriad of economic institutions and individuals, there was a great deal of work worthy of praise and admiration,” said Wealth & Finance Magazine’s Chloe Smart.
Merchant Capital gives small businesses access to funds for working capital in as little as 48 hours, with repayments based on a set percentage of future card sales allowing for flexibility during periods of low turnover. SMEs can then access additional capital once they have repaid 70% of the cash advance.
There are around 2.5 million SMEs in South Africa, which provide employment to about 60% of the labour force. Their total economic output accounts for roughly 34% of South Africa’s GDP. However, the funding gap for SMEs is anywhere between R86 billion and R346 billion at any given time.