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How we were incredibly surprised by CoolFinance's success in South Africa

Expanding into new markets is not always very easy. We are bringing an exclusive interview with the director of two loan comparators that want to help South African people to pick the right loan types.
Welcome CoolFinance.co.za and Finaton.com/za in South Africa. Your company Double Technology runs several loan comparators around the world from eastern Europe. When and how did your project start and why did you decide to expand into South Africa?

The platform CoolFinance was founded by project LemonyApps with its first branch in Czechia in 2010. After big success the project owner decided to expand this platform into neighboring countries - Slovakia, Poland. After that CoolFinance scheme was able to scale and it was quite easy to open new markets all over the world in local languages. Currently we are running 30+ branches around the world.

How we were incredibly surprised by CoolFinance's success in South Africa
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Were there some troubles while expanding into SA?

South Africa was a huge challenge for us because it was our first English-speaking country. An English-speaking country means always a much more competitive market than a local unique language country. It was very hard to find some local experienced person to create our SA content.

But after several weeks we found a Kenyan guy, who told us he lived a very long time in South Africa and had great experiences with finance in SA. First of all I did not trust this connection between one young Kenyan and South African finance market. Because you can find tons of people talking about their very rich experience in some foreign country to get a job, but they are not able to provide any proof. But then we bet on the right horse and this guy made really great content for us.

Our fears did not come true and CoolFinance.co.za belongs to one of our most visited branches. The two most visited pages are loans for blacklisted people and for people with bad credit. There are probably thoughts for these people to find the right loan, but we are trying to help by providing them with the right information.

You also have a Finaton loan comparator. How and why this project was created?

Finaton is a project based on highly informative rich content from experienced and well financial educated local people. It was built to have new trending design, to be fully accessible from mobile devices and have more features than the CoolFinance platform. It was created in 2018 and slowly opened new branches. The latest one was South African, but we are currently hardly working on an Indonesian and Bulgarian branch to be launched at the end of 2020.

How we were incredibly surprised by CoolFinance's success in South Africa
click to enlarge

You mentioned that both your loan comparators are successful. What are their main sources of traffic?

Both projects are built to provide relevant and useful information for users. We also have strong UX and great website speed. Based on these factors, many visitors who are searching for some loan connected information on the internet can find and visit our website easily. The second biggest traffic is of course mentions on social media, forums and interviews.

Where do you hire employees for local markets? How many employees do your company have?

We are a fully remote company. We do not have any big office buildings, offline meetings and other unproductive corporate habits. Everyone has full freedom of when, where they need to work. Our people just need some laptop and internet connection.

For the main markets we have several local long term contractors, who are regularly providing us with new articles, news, content updates and new product listings.

For the smaller markets we just occasionally hire someone local from Upwork or Freelancer to cover some news, write some new articles and provide information about current trends on the local market.

We also sometimes hire some consultants to improve our UX, codes, speed of website or some internal processes based on great references. But should it be done by every online company, or not?

What are your plans for 2021?

We really hope that the pandemic situation will be finally solved or will make some big progress in solutions around the world. With this uncertainty behind ours back it is very hard to plan some big investments in new content, branches or projects. We would like to launch at least some several new branches on Finaton and maybe several new CoolFinance branches. But we are prepared to change our plan drastically based on the current situation.


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