UK fintech Storfund, which optimises the cash cycle for merchants selling on ecommerce marketplaces, has struck a £300m debt funding deal with Fasanara Capital.
It’s the latest in a string of investments by Fasanara into e-commerce lending platforms, and marks a significant step up from Storfund’s last £26.5m funding round in February, led by Union Bancaire Privée (UBP).
Founded in 2018 by former Barclays investment bankers George Brintalos and Akbar Ahsan, Storfund lends to merchants selling on 17 ecommerce marketplaces such as Amazon across the UK, US and Europe.
“We’ve solved the age-old problem for retailers of a delay in payment for sales in a tech-enabled way, by plugging our platform directly into marketplaces and providing merchants with payment at the end of each day,” Ahsan tells City AM.
Storfund says this faster cash cycle supports the merchants’ growth, enabling them to restock faster and build their product catalogues. This, in turn, fuels the growth of the entire marketplace.
An initial £100m from the new funding will be funnelled into Storfund’s existing merchant footprint in the UK, US and Europe, Ahsan says, before the startup transfers its focus and the remaining capital to China, where it is carrying out a pilot programme at end of year for local merchants.
“The UK has a good, solid base of middling-sized merchants that are growing very well – a large proportion of which are traditional, longstanding businesses that have set up an ecommerce marketplace operation,” Ahsan says.
“We will continue to grow the UK business, and we are at different stages of negotiation with three British marketplaces,” he continues.
“But China’s got some of the largest ecommerce merchants globally – if you go to any of the largest marketplaces in the UK, the top 10/20 merchants will be Chinese.”
After the initial pilot, Storfund intends to roll out its services to China and Hong Kong merchants next year.