Founded in 2017 by Daniel Goldberg, Bridgement is a fintech lender in South Africa. Bridgement provides small and medium-sized enterprises with short-term business loans ranging from R10000.00 to R5,000,000.00. The interest rate on the loan starts at 1.7%.
With over 1.5 million small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) in South Africa, there is an undeniable need for innovative lenders who specialize in business financing. Bridgement is, without a doubt, one of the alternative lenders doing things that banks aren’t doing well. South African enterprises in various industries can use a Bridgement facility to obtain a near-instant business loan ranging from R10,000 to R5 million.
Your loan can be authorized within 24 hours if you complete a two-minute online application. Loan payback terms range from one week to twenty-four weeks. Daniel Goldberg, CEO of Bridgement, stated in December 2019 at an Intuit Quickbooks conference in Johannesburg that their fastest approved application to date was 90 minutes. That is the time it takes from the moment an application is submitted to the time monies are deposited into the borrower’s bank account.
To apply for a facility you have to first sign up for a free Bridgement account.
For businesses using an accounting software the Bridgement platform requires that you attach your accounting package as part of your application. Alternatively, you can manually upload your invoice book to the platform.
By connecting your accounting package, Bridgement can automatically and securely verify your trading history. This procedure phases out the need for any paperwork. This further means Bridgement can make a quicker decision on your application.
Popular accounting packages intergrated on Bridgement platform include but are not limited Sage, Xero, and Quick Books.
The loan facility limit is based on your business performance. Using data from your accounting package Bridgement’s Artificial Intelligence powered system measures your business’s performance. Once approved, you can access your dashboard online.
Bridgement charges you a single fee based on a simple rate against amounts advanced to you. That means you pay back the principal and the fee charged, but no additional charges. Rates start at 1.7% monthly and there are no hidden fees.
The system is completely pay-per-use. You are only charged a single fee per amount advanced to you. If you don’t use your facility, you don’t pay for it. There are no account or application fees and it is free to apply for financing
Bridgement does not charge you penalties for early settlement; instead you can receive a discount on the outstanding portion of the fee.
Unlike banks who charge these fees if you settle your account ahead of schedule, Bridgement rewards you for early settlement by giving you prorated discount on the outstanding fee.
The application process is way faster than traditional banks and other lenders. On average, the application process takes about 2 – 15 minutes online. Their online application saves you time on any paper work as the process doesn’t require any.
With Bridgement, it is completely free to apply. This is unlike other lenders who require application fee just to establishment of an account. Usually, origination fees vary from 3% to 10% of a given loan amount, using Bridgement will save you these fess.
Even after paying the origination fees, most lenders will still charge you other monthly fees for facilitating your loan. With Bridgement you do not have to worry about any additional fees.
You have the option to have your withdrawals and repayments automatically posted to your accounting package account. This will simplify reconciliation and save you time on bookkeeping.
To be eligible for the business loan, your company should have been in business for at least 6 months. This is a common practice among lenders, however, a number of alternative lenders are reducing this requirement to 3 months.
Even if you have been trading for more than 6 months, the R500, 000 annual turnover requirement may be a challenge for some businesses.