How the Amazon / Parafin Merchant Cash Advance Deal Came to Be
Back in December, Parafin, then a fintech startup with 20 employees, submitted a proposal to Amazon to roll out a potential Amazon merchant cash advance product. At the time, Parafin was little known to the general public and its surprise deal with DoorDash wouldn’t even become public until a month later.
The prospect of an MCA would not have been foreign to Amazon given that the company already offers direct business loans, lines of credit through Marcus by Goldman Sachs, and other loans thanks to a successful pilot with Lendistry. But the team behind Parafin were virtual unknowns in the merchant cash advance industry itself. The company’s 3 co-founders, including CEO Sahill Poddar, all hail from Robinhood, the investment app that became wildly popular especially with younger adults over the last several years.
Coincidentally, more than a dozen people employed by Parafin, including the co-founders, are former Robinhood employees, according to profiles reviewed on LinkedIn. It’s part of a trend, it appears, as other members of their team hail from well known Silicon Valley firms like Lending Club, Stripe, Funding Circle, Google, Amazon, Facebook, StreetShares, and more.
Ultimately, Parafin’s big bet paid off. On Tuesday, November 1st, Amazon announced that the Parafin team was the one it had chosen to debut its official merchant cash advance product.
“Amazon is committed to providing convenient and flexible access to capital for our sellers, regardless of their size,” said Tai Koottatep, director and general manager, Amazon WW B2B Payments & Lending, in the announcement. “Today’s launch is another milestone in strengthening Amazon’s commitment to sellers, and builds on the strong portfolio of financial solutions we already provide. This latest offering significantly expands sellers’ reach and capabilities, and broadens their access to capital in a flexible way—one that helps them control their cashflow, and by extension, their entire business.”
“We founded Parafin with the mission to grow small businesses, and we’re thrilled that we have the opportunity to do that by providing Amazon sellers with this merchant cash advance option,” said Vineet Goel, co-founder of Parafin. “It’s a privilege to count ourselves among Amazon’s suite of financial solutions, and we look forward to making a difference for Amazon.com sellers looking to expand their business.”
The product is already listed on Amazon’s website and was rolled out to some US businesses immediately. It will be available to hundreds of thousands of additional sellers by early 2023, the company claims.
Unique to an Amazon MCA is that funding amounts can start as low as $500 and go up to $10 million.
Amazon’s entrance into the merchant cash advance market coincides wih a unique moment in the product’s history as several states are in the midst of imposing strict regulations on their sale.Last modified: November 2, 2022
Sean Murray is the President and Chief Editor of deBanked and the founder of the Broker Fair Conference. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter. You can view all future deBanked events here.