Spartan is a 36 year old business having initially been established in 1981 by 3 entrepreneurs Neil Michelson and the Leal brothers. In its early years, within the then nascent IT industry, the business leased out its own brand-name computers under the Spartan brand. As the business grew, it evolved into a lease finance company.
In approximately 1999 Spartan was indirectly acquired by Arivia.kom [an IT parastatal] with the intention of Spartan being its leasing finance arm for its public sector and larger enterprise customers. During this phase – Spartan’s customer base consequently shifted to comprising mostly public sector and large enterprise customers.
In a parallel and separate journey to the above – in 1993 Kumaran Padayachee established a corporate finance & advisory business that only served SMEs. Expanding on the path of financing for SMEs – in 1999 he created KPA Asset Based Finance [Pty] Ltd that provided lease financing for general movable assets/equipment for SMEs.
Three years later, in 2002, he approached Arivia.kom to acquire Spartan – as a vehicle to expand the lease financing and simultaneously shift towards specialization [technology leasing rather than general movable asset financing].
Padayachee acquired Spartan in late 2003 with funding mostly from 1 of SA’s leading banks – and paid off the acquisition funding within 3 years.
In 2009 Spartan made a strategic shift – by eliminating all focus on larger enterprises and public sector markets [which comprised 85% of its finance book] to focusing 100% on the SME market.
From 2010 onwards, our supply-side funding was supported by some major financial institutions such as – Sanlam, Public Investment Corporation [PIC], Cadiz, Industrial Development Corporation [IDC] and USAID.
In 2012 Spartan launched its partner platform. It is a partner program where Spartan’s finance option is presented or quoted at the Point-of-Sale by technology and other resellers [similar to a bank promoting its car financing via car dealerships, on their showroom floor]. To date we have received + 1070 applications for partnership into Spartan’s partner platform. Only 63 have been approved, as Spartners, so far. The partner program will be capped at 300 partners. View our Partner options.
2014 saw the implementation of electronic signature technology – into our customer contract signing process. This is another way we have made financing easier for SMEs. They can electronically sign finance documentation on their mobile phones. Spartan is 1 of only 2 finance companies, in South Africa, using e-signing technology for its customers.
Also in 2014 we launched South Africa’s only e-commerce website for refurbished computers. The e-commerce platform has full start-to-finish online functionality from ordering to paying to integrated delivery & fulfilment.
Early 2015 we launched our Mobile App for Spartners in our partner platform. We simultaneously launched across iOS, Android and Windows Mobile operating platforms [and across all phone and tablets devices]. The App allows partners to quote finance on the go, submit and track customer finance deals – all fully integrated with our back-end systems. We are the only finance company in Africa with such a Mobile App for a partner channel – and 1 of only 2 such finance companies in the world. Take a look at our Mobile App.