Israeli start-up Sling.
Israeli startup Sling, empowering micro-merchants by enabling them to unlock mobile-finance through their mobile device, has recently been acquired by Brazilian Avante.
Sling enables micro-entrepreneurs (street vendors, therapists, flea market merchants or even home-factories) to unlock a series of financial services directly from their smartphone, with no need for hardware, intricate contracts or upfront cost. Among the various capacities, Sling merchants enjoy digital card payments, frictionless installments, clearance and micro- fleet management capabilities.
Due to micro-entrepreneurial roving nature, Sling equips each business with a unique, non-hardware, champion kit, which includes a personal Fintech bracelet and a series of tangible payment-enabled elements which enable merchants to carry their new financial capacities on the go. Such elements also enable a merchant to deploy his own micro-fleet of sub-vendors in a larger locality.
The Micro-Business sector is experiencing a massive global growth, most prominently in emerging markets such as Latin America, Africa and Asia, currently estimated at $80b USD. Poor communities make the backbone of these 200m micro-business, continuously underserved by banks, credit and technological infrastructures. With the progress towards an advanced financial world, these societies continue to fail, lacking adequate banking infrastructure, access to credit and simple, yet cheap, payment channels.
Sling serves thousands of Israeli micro-entrepreneurs in Israel and is destined to deploy its services amongs additional 10,000 merchants in the Brazilian market, by the end of 2017.
The company has been founded on 2014 by Erez Yerushalmi (CEO), Jacob Cohen (COO), Tsadok Eliyahu (CTO) and Michael Kessler (Mobile Lead), all avid entrepreneurs with multiple ventures in their past. The company was funded by Angel investors (Michael Katina, Erez Shani) and was accelerated by Citi's accelerator, operating from Tel-Aviv, as part of its third class. Sling was also selected to be part of MasterCard’s startup engagement program ‘Start Path’ in 2015. Sling continues to cooperate with both its strategic partners towards its growth plans.
In response to the acquisition, Erez Yerushalmi, Sling's CEO, said to the press: "Avante is a natural partner to the vision we have built at Sling. The acquisition enables us to continue and empower the underserved communities of this new economy. In a world of banks and giant-corporates, Micro-Businesses are rapidly abandoned, and only technological accessibility will enable us to answer the huge pain of poor populations."
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