Australian online lending platform Moula has snapped former Xero MD Chris Ridd as it plans for massive growth. Ridd joins the team from his experience working with Moula as a Xero preferred financial services partner, where the company became the first online lending platform to implement Xero's API integration and underwrite a business loan.
“Over the course of my five years at Xero Australia, I saw a marked shift in the way SMEs use online data to streamline business process and drive growth. The findings from the Disruption Index support this with a slightly higher proportion of SMEs willing to trade their data,” Ridd says.
The Disruption Index, created by Moula to track disruption in the small business lending sector, has found that the number of data-approved loan applicants has doubled in the last year due to more trust in providing sensitive bank details to unsecured finance.
“There is an opportunity to help support the continued success of small businesses. Lending based on the strength of accounting data is a unique point of differentiation in the market, and one that is the way of the future for finance-as-a-service," Ridd explains.
Unsecured lending is becoming a bigger player in the capital funding market, with Philip Dalidakis, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade commending efforts.
“Having access to capital is one of the most important requirements for a small business to get off the ground or stay operating. It is wonderful to see fintech companies like Moula providing our small businesses with innovative new ways to access capital and manage their finances at the same time. This is another great local success story that cements Victoria's growing reputation as the number one tech and startup destination in the Asia Pacific region," Dalidakis says.
Moula has experienced significant growth as SMEs seek finance and adapt new loan access methods. The company offers loans of up to $250,000 to fund business growth, while its Disruption Index has found that SMEs that seek to make the most of taxation changes and favourable business conditions.
“The Disruption Index indicates a significant shift in the way SMEs expect to access finance, and there is a huge opportunity to help SMEs grow through accessible finance that is based on a thoroughly transparent, data-driven approach," says Moula CEO and co-founder Aris Allegos.
“Small business owners know that to survive in business you need to meet customer expectations. We live in an age of instantaneous transactions with the increasing availability of data at our fingertips. This means that the pace of business has increased exponentially and in line with that, so too have customer expectations. The lending space is no different,” Moula continues.
In addition, SMEs need quicker access to unsecured finance as the expected wait time decreased one day from 7.5 to 6.5 days over the last year, the Disruption Index found.
"Having somebody of Chris' calibre on the board, with his track record of building exceptional businesses, is a tremendous boon to Moula. He has a genuine talent and a passion for this space. He ‘gets' small businesses and the challenges they face and is a huge advocate for what Moula is trying to achieve — to help Australian SMEs grow via a simple loan application that is fast, affordable and responsible," Allegro concludes.