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Launching: Zazma Offers Drop-Dead Simple Short-term Business Credit

image To continue our look at outstanding lending UI’s (previous post), I present to you Zazma. The startup, which came out of stealth yesterday, has raised $10 million to finance small loans of $300 to $5,000 for up to 60 days. The initial funding came from Sequoia and Spark Capital.  

This is a business that almost no bank wants, which makes it ripe for startups. But it can be lucrative. Because the business borrowers are using the money to buy needed equipment or inventory, they are much less focused on the interest rate, if they believe the cash advanced will earn them a profit. It’s the secret sauce of successful startups Kabbage, Capital Access Network and On Deck Capital (note 1). 

As you can see from the screenshot below, the maximum loan, $5,000 for 60 days, earns Zazma a healthy $295 fee. Assuming it’s paid back, that a 6% return over two months or an annual APR of 36%. While that’s not enough of a return on VC funds, once the company has enough of a track record to attract debt funding, that could be a sustainable revenue model.

The company hopes to attract sellers who will offer Zazma-powered financing to their customers. That could be a real win-win. And because each transaction can potentially satisfy two businesses, it’s a model that bank’s should consider.  

The UI
While the business model is very promising, what I really love is their UI. Absolutely simple, with fewer words than Google’s famously simplistic design. Potential borrowers type the loan amount, choose the payback date and press the large, red Get Funded bar. The applet automatically shows the amount that must be repaid.

It’s a fantastic start to the borrowing experience, which I have not tested. Because this is business credit, they can avoid talking about the interest rate. But there is nothing hidden here. It is a model of simplicity and transparency. 


Zazma homepage (4 Sep 2013)


After clicking Get Funded, the box opens to ask for name, company and email



1. Follow these Finovate alums at our Finovate blog.
2. For more on small business services, including credit, see our Online Banking Report on micro and small businesses (subscription, published Oct 2009).