Fundera, an online marketplace for small business loans, launched today to connect small business owners to lenders who can provide immediate financing. GroupMe co-founder Jared Hecht founded Fundera along with successful software entrepreneur Rohan Deshpande and seasoned entrepreneur Andres Moran to bring ease and transparency to the alternative lending process.
Borrowers fill out one common online application and are instantly pre-qualified and matched to lenders best suited to their needs. Small business owners can now receive the capital they need in a matter of days.
“Credible businesses are being turned away because of overly tight bank restrictions, and while alternative lending can help them receive capital, the process is inefficient and confusing. Fundera brings efficiency and transparency to an otherwise opaque industry in order to deliver more capital to qualified businesses.”
“Every year nearly half of all small businesses report needing working capital and over 75 percent of those who apply do not receive the financing they need from banks,” said Hecht. “Credible businesses are being turned away because of overly tight bank restrictions, and while alternative lending can help them receive capital, the process is inefficient and confusing. Fundera brings efficiency and transparency to an otherwise opaque industry in order to deliver more capital to qualified businesses.”
Because Fundera does not engage in direct lending it is an unbiased party in recommending the best lender for a borrower. Additionally, Fundera hand-selects all lenders to eliminate those who may not have small business owners’ best interest at heart, and applicants will never be contacted by a lender unless they specifically request so. During the pre-approval process Fundera takes into account factors like length of time in business, annual revenue, approximate credit score, accounts receivable and a number of other data points and customer preferences.
Fundera was inspired by the founders’ experience both personally and among friends with difficulty in securing funding for small businesses that need capital in order to grow.
"Trying to get a loan from traditional banks can be impossible,” said Zach Weprin, founder of Fusian restaurants and one of the inspirations for Fundera. “Despite having an established and successful sushi concept, I was turned down by a bank and had to look elsewhere. Sifting through the alternative lenders available is beyond overwhelming – there is no way to really tell what your best option is. Fundera is a huge help to all small business owners out there seeking a loan because they are able to cut through the noise and guesswork that currently exists in the space.”
Fundera receives a 1 to 3 percent origination fee from lenders and has successfully facilitated nine loans and matched over 200 small business owners with lenders during beta testing. The marketplace is ideal for businesses that are at least nine months old across a large variety of industries such as restaurants, auto-body shops, spas, salons, dental and medical practices, retail stores or boutiques. Beyond its lending resources, Fundera is a one-stop shop for small business needs, providing educational tools and information on alternative lending. The company is based in Manhattan and has raised $3.4 million from Khosla Ventures, First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, and angel investors Strauss Zelnick, Rob Wiesenthal, David Rosenblatt and David Tisch.