Beau Bertoli, 33 and Greg Moshal, 33
- Head office
- Year founded
Finance and insurance
Small business lender Prospa has its foot to the floor, recognising the disruptive power of fintech on Australia’s lending space, and the company is aiming to grow its customer base through an in-depth knowledge of what drives SMEs.
It’s through this attention to detail that Prospa has topped the 2016 Smart50 list of fastest growing SMEs with the highest percentage growth in revenue over a three-year period.
The business launched in 2011, when co-founders Beau Bertoli and Greg Moshal saw an opportunity to build a strong online platform to assist small business owners who wanted funding but were struggling with the time and requirements of the mainstream banking system. In 2013-14 the operation generated $1.8 million in revenue. In 2015-16 this was up to $22.3 million – a growth rate of over 1000%.
Prospa allows small business owners to apply for unsecured loans of up to $250,000 through a 10-minute online process, with funds being delivered as soon as the next business day.
The early days of the business were spent searching for capital to grow the venture in a sustainable way. The business now has partnerships with the likes of Westpac and Xero, but from the beginning the founders discovered they needed to be incredibly specific about the goals and opportunities for business.
“Providing good leadership is always a challenge and clarity around goals and expectations is one of the hardest components,” says Bertoli.
“Our greatest successes have come when we were very precise about expectations.”
On the other hand, the biggest challenges have come when the business was not sure of the SME audience it was targeting.
“Misaligned expectations led to one of our biggest failures, with a business development team not clear which market sectors to target. They focused on the wrong sectors and this led to tension with management,” says Bertoli.
When it comes to customer service, operation “Hungry Cobra” was put in place so the team could track all elements of the loan application process as a customer would see it. This not only halved the time taken to apply for a loan to be assessed, it also gave the team ongoing data to work with on how people were using the platform.
Bertoli says the next 12 months will see the business solidifying its slice of the small business lending space, as well as expanding into the credit information space to also give small businesses access to credit info.
“We want Prospa to be the best place to work in Australia,” says Bertoli.
“My co-founder and I have very big goals – we want to change the way small businesses experience finance.”