StartupSmart Awards winner 1800Approved targets 100 franchisees by 2021

Above: Rodney Michail (left) and Angelo Lauro (middle) claiming the Fastest Growing Start-up title at the 2013 StartupSmart Awards.


Queensland-based business 1800Approved has unveiled its plan to recruit up to 100 franchisees nationwide by 2021, one month after winning the 2013 StartupSmart Awards.


Founded in 2009 by Angelo Lauro and Rodney Michail (pictured above), 1800Approved provides finance brokerage services across a range of products, from homes to motorboats.


With revenue of $20 million last year, 1800Approved blitzed the competition at the 2013 StartupSmart Awards, easily taking out the top spot.


“We are [a] very versatile business; we have forecasted change very well,” Lauro told StartupSmart in March.


“We moved into bikes, then marine and commercial – we can do anything from a $5000 loan to a current deal which is with a group of private lenders for $600 million.


“Our business comes from consumers directly, or referral partners and dealerships. We are about the whole solution – car, house, about providing solutions.”


“We do the same with the dealerships, to help them sell their products. We provide the tools, whether that’s an online calculator or building them a website, to help them. We invest a lot into developing the products and tools.”


Now the company has revealed its plans to embark on an aggressive growth strategy by way of franchising.  


Michail told Insurance Business the company wants to recruit as many as 100 franchisees across the country within the next seven years, and has already attracted interest from several people.  


However, Michail insisted the company’s plan is not a money-making exercise but is about “growing together”.  


“This is indeed a volume-based industry so we can all benefit from each other. It’s important to offer a fair platform for franchisees to work from and not be greedy,” Michail said.


According to the company’s Facebook page, the company is looking for people with previous experience in broking, coupled with “enthusiasm to join a network of other experienced and likeminded individuals”.


“1800Approved provides motivated people the opportunity to achieve greater income through an agency-structured business model,” Michail said.


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