LulaLend, now known as Lula, is a South African fintech company that offers a range of business loans designed to meet the diverse needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These loans aim to provide flexible, efficient, and accessible financial solutions to help businesses manage cash flow and growth.

LulaLend provides online business loans for borrowers ranging from R10,000 to R5,000,000, with funds available within 24 hours of approval. The company offers transparency, flexibility, and no hidden fees or penalties for early repayment. Its unique credit assessment model considers real-time business performance, allowing financing to a wider range of businesses, including those not eligible for traditional bank loans.


Main benefits of LulaLend Business Loans

LulaLend Business Loans, tailored for the South African market, provide several key advantages that are designed to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with accessible and flexible financing options. These benefits are particularly geared towards facilitating business growth and operational efficiency in a competitive economic environment.


The terms of the loans are flexible, with options to repay over periods of 3, 6, 9, or 12 months, depending on the borrower’s cash flow needs​. Below, we list some of the top benefits that the LulaLend Business Loans have to offer to its borrowers:

Fast and efficient application process

LulaLend’s application process is distinguished by its speed and simplicity. Applicants can complete the entire process online in just a few minutes, without the need for extensive paperwork or in-person bank visits. This expedited process is crucial for businesses needing urgent funding to capitalize on time-sensitive opportunities or to address immediate cash flow challenges. The decision on the loan application is typically made within hours, allowing businesses to access funds swiftly​.

No collateral required

One of the significant benefits of LulaLend loans is that they are unsecured, meaning no collateral is required. This feature opens up funding opportunities to a broader range of businesses, especially smaller enterprises and startups that may not have substantial assets to offer as security. This aspect is particularly beneficial in reducing the entry barriers for newer businesses seeking financial support to grow and scale​.

Flexible repayment terms

LulaLend offers flexible repayment options tailored to the cash flow patterns of different businesses. Loan terms can vary from 3 to 12 months, and businesses can choose to repay earlier without incurring any penalties. This flexibility allows businesses to manage their finances more effectively and avoid the strain of fixed repayment structures that do not align with their revenue cycles​.

Transparent cost structure

Transparency in the cost structure of the loans ensures that businesses understand all the fees involved upfront. LulaLend charges a fixed percentage on the loan amount as opposed to varying interest rates, which can often increase the total cost unpredictably. This clarity helps businesses plan their finances better and ensures there are no unexpected costs that could impact their budgeting​.

High approval rates

Utilizing advanced technology and a unique credit assessment model that evaluates real business performance rather than just traditional credit scores, LulaLend is able to offer higher approval rates. This approach provides a more inclusive lending environment, particularly benefiting businesses that may have been previously rejected by traditional banks​.

Support for a wide range of industries

LulaLend caters to a diverse array of industries, offering tailored financing solutions that meet the unique needs of different sectors, including manufacturing, retail, and hospitality. This sector-specific approach ensures that the financing support is relevant and impactful, helping businesses within these industries to overcome typical financial challenges and leverage growth opportunities more effectively​.

LulaLend Business Loan simulation

LulaLend 6 and 12 Month Plans have streamlined the lending process. Each month, you will repay a portion of the total advanced amount along with the monthly cost. The specific portion will depend on the plan you choose. Monthly costs typically range from 2% to 6% of the advanced amount for the initial 2 or 4 months, depending on the specific plan. After that, the monthly cost is a flat 2% for each subsequent month. Below, we have made a R600,000 loan simulation using LulaLend website loan calculator tool.

  • Loan required: R600,000.
  • Months to repay: 6.
  • Your payments each month: R127,000 for the first 2 months and R112,000 for the remaining 4 months.
  • Your monthly cost (fees): R27,000 for the first 2 months and R12,000 or the remaining 4 months.
  • Your total cost (fees): R102,000.
  • Your total repayments: R702,000.

Prerequisites to obtain the LulaLend Business Loans

To qualify for a LulaLend Business Loan, there are specific prerequisites that prospective borrowers in South Africa need to meet. These requirements are designed to ensure that the financial products offered align well with the needs and capacities of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs):

  1. Time in business: Your business should have been operational for at least one year. This requirement is set to demonstrate the business’s ability to sustain operations and manage finances over a significant period​.
  2. Minimum annual turnover: A minimum annual turnover of R500,000 is required. This criterion helps Lula assess the financial health and cash flow stability of the business, ensuring that the business generates enough revenue to potentially repay the borrowed amount​.
  3. Business registration and operation in South Africa: The business must be registered and actively operating within South Africa. This local presence is crucial as it aligns with Lula’s focus on supporting South African SMEs and understanding the local market dynamics.
  4. Bank account and financial statements: Applicants need to provide recent bank statements or link a bank account to share transaction data. This information is essential for Lula to evaluate the business’s financial activity and make an informed lending decision​.
  5. Online application: The entire application process for LulaLend Business Loans is conducted online, which requires filling out some basic information about the business and its owner. This streamlined process is designed for speed and ease, allowing decisions to be made quickly, often within minutes​.

More about LulaLend as a financial institution

LulaLend (AKA Lula) was established in 2014 by co-founders Trevor Gosling and Neil Welman. It is South Africa’s first online provider of automated business funding, focusing on serving small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with fast and convenient access to capital.

Lula differentiates itself from traditional financial institutions by leveraging technology to provide quick lending decisions and funding within 24 hours, using a proprietary scoring algorithm that evaluates applicants based on a variety of data sources​.

Lula offers a range of financial products designed to meet the specific needs of SMEs, including:

  • Revolving Capital Facilities;
  • Capital Advances;
  • Trade Capital;
  • Equipment Financing;
  • Inventory Finance;
  • Various industry-specific financial solutions, such as financing for the manufacturing, retail, and restaurant sectors​.

The company caters primarily to SMEs that have been operational for at least a year and are generating a minimum monthly turnover of R42,000. This focus reflects Lula’s commitment to empowering SMEs by improving their access to essential growth capital and supporting their ongoing financial management needs​.


Step by step to apply for the LulaLend Business Loans

Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying for a loan with Lula, focusing on the factual and procedural aspects of the application:

  1. Online application: Start by visiting Lula’s website. You’ll need to complete an online application form, which is designed to be quick and straightforward. This form will require basic details about you and your business, such as name, contact information, business details, and financial information​.
  2. Link your bank account: For a more detailed financial assessment, Lula may require you to link your business’s bank account. This allows Lula to access your transaction history in a read-only format to assess your business’s financial health and behavior. This step is crucial for determining your loan eligibility and the amount you can borrow​.
  3. Documentation: Depending on your business type and the loan amount requested, you may need to upload additional documentation. This could include recent bank statements, proof of business registration, and financial statements. These documents help Lula verify the information provided in your application.
  4. Credit assessment: Once you have submitted your application and documents, Lula uses its proprietary credit scoring technology to quickly evaluate your application.
  5. Loan decision: Lula’s automated system allows for quick processing, and you will typically receive a loan decision within minutes.
  6. Receive funds: If your loan application is approved, Lula aims to deposit the funds into your bank account within 24 hours.
  7. Repayment: Lula offers flexible repayment terms that can be aligned with your business’s cash flow. This could include choosing between different repayment term options (e.g., 6 months, 12 months).

Positives and negatives of the LulaLend Business Loans

As with every loan or other financial product, there are both advantages and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at what we think should be kept in consideration for both of these factors.


  • Rapid access to funds: LulaLend provides a quick funding process, with the potential to receive funds within 24 hours of application approval.
  • No collateral required: Loans are unsecured, meaning businesses don’t need to provide collateral.
  • Flexible repayment terms: LulaLend offers flexible repayment options, allowing businesses to choose terms that match their cash flow.
  • Automated decision-making: Using proprietary technology, LulaLend evaluates loan applications quickly and efficiently, often providing decisions within minutes.
  • Wide range of loan amounts: LulaLend caters to a variety of financial needs by offering loans ranging from R10,000 to R5,000,000, making it suitable for small to medium-sized enterprises at different stages of growth​.
  • Ease of application: The entire application process is online, making it convenient for business owners to apply from anywhere without visiting a bank​.


  • Higher costs: The interest rates can range from 2% to 6% of the loan amount, which may be higher than traditional bank loans. These costs can accumulate over time, making it an expensive option for long-term financing​​.
  • Strict eligibility requirements: Businesses need to have been operational for at least one year with a minimum annual turnover of R500,000. This criterion may exclude newer businesses that are still in early stages of revenue generation​.
  • Limited by business performance: Loan approvals and amounts are heavily dependent on the business’s current financial health and cash flow. Businesses experiencing financial instability might find it challenging to secure funding​.
  • Potential for over-reliance on debt: Easy access to funds could lead businesses to become overly reliant on debt, potentially leading to financial strain if not managed properly.

Alternatives to LulaLend Business Loans

South African banks and financial institutions offer various business loan alternatives to LulaLend Business Loans, each with its own set of advantages suitable for different business needs:

  1. Bridgement: Bridgement offers fast and flexible business loans up to R5,000,000, with an online application process that can be completed in minutes. The funds are typically available within hours, and the pricing is simple and transparent with no hidden costs. This is ideal for businesses needing quick cash flow solutions and values straightforward cost structures​.
  2. Standard Bank: Standard Bank provides a variety of business loans including Business Revolving Loans, Business Overdraft, and Business Term Loans. Their Business Revolving Loan allows businesses to access funds again after repaying 15% of the borrowed amount without reapplying, which is beneficial for businesses needing continuous access to working capital​.
  3. Absa: Absa offers a range of business funding options including asset loans, working capital, and business expansion finance. They cater to both startups and existing SMEs, providing specialized products like Agriculture BEE Loan Facility and Women Empowerment Finance, making it a good choice for businesses looking for sector-specific funding solutions​.

LulaLend Business Loans average rates and fees

When considering a LulaLend Business Loan, potential borrowers can expect to encounter specific rates and fees associated with their financing options. Here’s a summary of the typical costs:

  1. Interest rates: LulaLend charges interest rates that can vary between 2% to 6% of the advanced amount. These rates are applied monthly and depend on the loan amount, the repayment plan chosen, and the creditworthiness of the business​.
  2. Service fee: A service fee may be charged, which is usually a fixed percentage of the loan amount. This fee covers the cost of managing the loan.
  3. Late payment fees: If payments are late, LulaLend may charge additional fees. These are generally set to encourage timely repayment and to cover the additional administrative costs associated with managing late payments.


LulaLend customer service

For more information about LulaLend Business Loans, or to inquire directly about their services, you can contact LulaLend through the following channels:

  • Website: Visit the LulaLend website for detailed information about their loan products and to apply online.
  • Email: For support or specific queries, you can email LulaLend at [email protected].
  • Phone: You can speak directly with a LulaLend representative by calling their customer service line at 087 250 0014.