Anglo African, which made headlines in 2002 when it made an unsuccessful play for liquor group KWV, is now making huge strides in backing a lending venture that services small to medium enterprises (SMEs).Anglo African — controlled by JP du Plessis, with banking personality GT Ferreira as a shareholder — launched online business lender Pollen roughly a year ago. Pollen is the brain-child of Du Plessis’ younger brother, Louis, who also manages the business.Lending activity, despite the sluggish local economy, has been surprisingly brisk. Pollen initially set a target of R20m in loans in its first year of operation, but has managed to write loans worth R150m.JP du Plessis says about 70% of the loan book is repeat business, and he reckons Pollen can push its loan book to between R300m and R400m next year.The business, in many ways, replicates the business models of fintech giants like New York Stock Exchange-listed OnDeck in the US and Moula in Australia.The loans are unsecured, but Po...

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