Finding A Standardized Data Model
Since Lenkie’s embedded lending platform was being used for all types of vertical platforms that served all types of micro-businesses, Lenkie needed standardized models of common data sets shared within these platforms. They needed a universal way to view product, order, invoice, customer and payout data irrespective of the marketplace or platform the data comes from.
As Lenkie explored building their first integration with Amazon, they quickly ran into the challenge of not only having to scope out and build the integration but they also had to think about how to stay up to date with any changes to the Amazon APIs. This became a general problem for all platforms and marketplaces Lenkie wanted to support. The added effort of integrating APIs, updating API endpoints and HTTP response models when new versions of the APIs with breaking changes are implemented was a hurdle.
Lenkie Cofounder & CTO Nnaemeka Obodoekwe shared,
We tried building it out ourselves and it was very slow. For each of these platforms, you have to start with the authentication and authorization. Additionally, if something with the API changed, we didn’t have the capacity to do it since we wanted to focus on building our core features that help us underwrite and offer funding to our merchants.
Cofounder & CTO
One Single Data Source
Lenkie’s core focus is becoming the best embedded lending platform so the Lenkie team wanted to focus on being the best at what they do and not have to think about building each integration themselves. So when they found that Rutter could provide the breadth of platforms they needed via one single data source, they were excited to leverage the Rutter API.
Lenkie Engineer Kennedy Sigauke added,
We really wanted a way for us to have a single data source to pull all the data across platforms. We are lending money to businesses in the ecommerce space and ecommerce is such a broad space. In vertical platforms, people are selling different things on different platforms. We needed a way to define good standardization across orders, products, payouts, invoices and something we can rely upon irrespective of which platform or software the merchants are using.
Breadth of Platforms from Day 1
From day 1, the Lenkie team has been able to integrate with Amazon, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Shopify, and more platforms in a matter of weeks using Rutter’s API and broad coverage helping them accelerate their roadmap and save hundreds of engineering hours.
Best In Class Onboarding & Support
The Lenkie team appreciated the ecommerce expertise Rutter had when it came to helping them onboard into every single platform and dealing with the nuances of getting an application approved. Obodoekwe added, “Even when things weren’t clear, having access to the Rutter Customer Success team to jump on calls and explain things helped make the onboarding process quite easy for us.”
Lower Maintenance Cost
“The fact that you didn’t have to think about maintenance across the various platforms was very helpful. If the underlying APIs change, then we still rely on one API to as a uniform resource. Rutter strips away the complexities of connecting to data sources, reduces the time to onboard to new data sources, removes the maintenance cost and allows us to focus on what we’re very good at which is underwriting and you just hand the data access to us,” Obodoekwe shared.
Making Lending As Easy As Getting Coffee
Lenkie’s goal is to make it very easy for borrowers to access capital. Obodoekwe shared,
Within a few clicks, they can find out how much they can access. Our general application only takes 2 mins compared to going to the bank.
Access to capital is a problem for a lot of SMEs. Having been a seller on Shopify before, when you go to the bank they want months of trading history because the banks don’t have access to those transactions. For us there are thousands of SMEs growing rapidly and they need the capital to take them to the next level and we wanted to bridge that gap between access to data and access to capital.
Rutter is excited to play a role in helping Lenkie fulfill its vision of making access to capital as easy as getting coffee.
If something with the API changed, we didn’t have the capacity to do it since we wanted to focus on building our core features that help us offer funding to merchants.
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