Lumi - lighting the way for SMEs
Australian non-bank lender Lumi is lighting the way for SMEs.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced small businesses to close their doors, Yanir Yakutiel, founder of Australian SME lender Lumi, knew he needed to act fast. Lumi’s mission is to provide easy access to flexible business funding for the country’s huge tribe of small businesses, and Yakutiel knew many of them would struggle to stay afloat through the crisis without swift access to funds.
In March 2020, Lumi was accredited for the Australian government’s AU$40 billion loan-guarantee scheme, which was designed to encourage banks and non-bank lenders to ensure a steady flow of capital to small businesses in the wake of the pandemic. Lumi was able to respond rapidly to the changing needs of Australian SMEs during this stressful period due to the innate agility of the Mambu platform, which meant Lumi didn’t need to spend months on coding, upgrades or professional service fees - Mambu’s in-built flexibility and configurability made the changes swift and seamless. The roll out was incredibly successful, and Lumi found it was very quickly making a huge proportion of its loans under the scheme.
The pandemic also prompted Lumi to accelerate its plans to launch its next product – a flexible line of credit similar to an overdraft. This is now being offered alongside its existing short-term unsecured loans.
Fast, flexible solutions
The Australian government’s guarantee scheme includes no repayments for the first six months and covers 50 per cent of the loan if the borrower is unable to repay. These business-friendly features have helped Lumi forge ahead with its aim of channelling funds to small businesses.
Further to its mission to help Australian SMEs grow their businesses, in early 2021 Lumi launched its latest product feature, Lumi Payment Pause, billed as Australia’s first 4-week interest-free loan repayment pause. With Lumi Payment Pause, customers can pause their loan repayments and interest for four weeks, whenever the business needs it. The foundation for this new product was an innovative feature developed by Mambu in response to the COVID pandemic, which was rolled out globally to all Mambu customers to empower them to offer new products and services that would genuinely support their own customers throughout the crisis.
New executive team & expanded loan product offerings
January 2022 saw Lumi take enormous steps in its expansion plans, taking on three new executive hires and securing a $40 million warehouse facility with National Australia Bank (NAB) and Alexander Funds Management (AFM). The warehouse facility was secured to support the scaling of its SME loan products and enable continual growth.
While Lumi currently offers small business loans from $5,000 up to $300,000 for a single loan, the new warehouse facility will soon enable Lumi to offer loans of up to $500,000
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mambu for a number of years, even before I started Lumi. One thing that always stood out to me was their very strong engineering culture. Technology sits at the heart of Lumi because it enables us to provide the best possible experience for our customers. In Mambu we have found a purely cloud native core banking partner that allows us to leverage their offering and expertise so that we can focus on what we do best – SME lending. It’s a true symbiotic relationship of very complimentary businesses sitting alongside each other in the value chain.” - Yanir Yakutiel