According to leaked internal screenshots, Amazon is testing a new lending marketplace for third-party merchants on its site which would allow them to receive loans from Amazon’s own lending arm as well as Goldman Sachs’s Marcus group and regional banks.
Business Insider reports that e-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly testing a new online lending marketplace where merchants that sell their items on Amazon could take out loans and lines of credit from lenders such as Goldman Sachs, Amazon itself, and many others.
Leaked internal screenshots show that the marketplace lists multiple 3-to-12 month loans for sellers to choose from with a max size of $1 million for the first loan. Companies that are offering these loans including Amazon, Goldman Sachs’s Marcus division, and multiple other regional banks. Top Amazon sellers have been invited to beta test the marketplace since at least late last year.
The marketplace appears to show Amazon’s latest business expansion — its lending business. Amazon launched its lending business in 2011 but so far has limited it to offering credit directly to qualified merchants. A marketplace model would help to reduce the financial risk that Amazon incurs by entering the lending market as third-party banks could make more loans and give more sellers easier access to capital to buy inventory.
Schwark Satyavolu, an investor at Trinity Ventures, told Business Insider: “Amazon’s primary goal is to drive the ability of their merchants to scale bigger, faster, and better. You can get more credit to more merchants in a marketplace model.”
A leaked screenshot shows the marketplace in action, but it is currently unknown whether this is a new service that Amazon plans to launch in a wider market push or if this is a limited test for select merchants.
In 2017, Amazon passed $3 billion in merchant loans but has not disclosed much about its lending business since then. Amazon said it had $863 million in outstanding loans at the end of 2019 in an annual filing last week. This is up by about 21 percent from the year previous.