Patience is a virtue, as the old saying goes.
And for the team behind micro loan website Nimble, patience has rewarded them with $8.3 million in funding they’ve raised from a range of investors including iSelect co-founder and executive chairman Damien Waller and director Les Webb.
“The biggest thing for us was we did it on a shoestring for years,” Nimble co-founder Greg Ellis told StartupSmart.
“We waited until we had the right investors to form a board with.”
Ellis says that for him and fellow co-founder Sean Teahan, the “right” investors were those who shared their long-term vision for the company.
He says they weren’t interested in joining with private equity, which generally sets shorter term goals.
“We want to run this business with a 10-plus years’ outlook, not two to three years.”
Ellis says the funding will go towards more investment in technology, especially mobile apps, as well as building brand awareness and funding its loans.
Nimble lends people a maximum of $1200 on short terms, with a maximum of 50 days.
Clients apply for loans through Nimble’s website, which asks for personal and employment details along with expenses and wages details.
The company then analyses the information using credit history and other data to quickly make a lending decision.
Ellis says Nimble approves around 20% of all applications. Nimble’s website says it has approved 327,505 loans since 2005.
Nimble says in a statement that the typical Nimble member earns a gross salary of more than $1000 a week.
“People live pay to pay in Australia, that’s a reality,” Ellis says of the kinds of people who use Nimble. He says living expenses can add up and something may happen, like car repairs, when they need money quickly.