Alibaba teams up with an Australian lender to finance small businesses
July 21, 2015 05:34 PM
E-commerce giant Alibaba Group is working with the Australia-based unit of Capify to provide loans to small and medium-sized enterprises in Australia so that they can buy products from suppliers on Alibaba.com, Alibaba’s China-based business-to-business e-commerce site.
“We want to help make financing as accessible and efficient as possible for the 1.9 million Australian small and mid-sized enterprises that do business through Alibaba.com,” says Michael Mang, head of business development and marketing for Alibaba.com and for the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and North Africa regions. “By linking the buyers on our platform to a leader in the alternative business lending space such as Capify, [and by offering] innovative financial packages for our members, we hope to help Australian SMEs to address their financing challenges and therefore encourage them to engage and capture opportunities from the global trading scene to further grow their business.” Capify, which is headquartered in New York, operates in several international markets. Its business in Australia was formerly known as AUSvance.
Alibaba.com is the international B2B trading site of Alibaba Group, which also operates 1688.com, a wholesale site for buyers in China, and major Chinese retail e-marketplaces Taobao.com and Tmall.com. Alibaba’s financing program with Capify follows similar initiatives it launched earlier this year for small and midsized borrowers in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Through Capify, Australian small and midsized businesses can apply for credit ranging from 5,000 to 400,000 Australian dollars (US$3,719 to $297,468) for 12 months at an undisclosed interest rate, when they purchase from suppliers on Alibaba.com. The procedure will be done through a new initiative called “Alibaba.com e-Credit Line” that automates the credit model and provides a prospective borrower a decision within 60 seconds of applying, Alibaba says. Businesses accepted as borrowers can pay back the loan in either daily or weekly installments, Alibaba says.
“The collaboration will satisfy Alibaba.com’s customers’ financing needs with a tailored product to help grow their business,” says John De Bree, managing director of Capify.
Australia is the third-largest market for Alibaba.com. The company says that nearly 2 million buyers in Australia are signed up to purchase products on Alibaba.com, where they can access products from some 10 million suppliers. About 70% of those suppliers are based in China with other sellers from such countries as the United Kingdom, India and the United States.
Purchases by Australian buyers on Alibaba.com are divided among 10 categories: Machinery, Minerals and Metallurgy, Construction and Real Estate, Apparel, Automobiles and Motorcycles, Beauty and Personal Care, Chemicals, Computers and Software, Home and Garden, Electrical.
Alibaba attracted global attention in September 2014 when its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange raised $25 billion to set a record high for IPOs.
Sign up for a free subscription to B2BecNews, a weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes the monthly business magazine Internet Retailer. Follow Nona Tepper, associate editor for B2B e-commerce, on Twitter @ntepper90.