Access to capital is one of the biggest hurdles for small businesses. fundid Founder and CEO Stephanie Semple recalls using her personal credit card to buy a trade show booth for her first business, and when she saw this sort of thing happen to friends, she knew she couldn’t just sit on the sidelines.
Semple started a business finance startup after working as a small business owner in Montana for over ten years. While she admits that her company didn’t face similar problems accessing capital due to owning real estate related to her family’s franchise, she saw friends struggle to get capital from banks because they didn’t have that kind of property. for leverage.
She had already worked with a non-profit group of women business owners, and the more she collected feedback on the ease of access to capital – 70% answered her: “No, I don’t know how to get funding” – the more she understood businesses needed more simplified a way to obtain capital and resources to finance the business.
“We focus on business growth, and the moment they need capital, they have a growth opportunity, like acquiring a big client, so they need to hire a new employee, but this comes with the initial cost of maintaining a new one. an employee like buying a laptop,” Sample told TechCrunch. “We can provide just enough to smooth their finances so they can say yes to growth at this point.”
Fundid already works with more than 16,000 businesses, mostly with fewer than 10 employees, who Semple says make up 80% of the 31 million businesses in the US. The company provides support in three areas:
- Loans through Fundid Capital.
- Business building card. Together with Experian, the company has developed its own underwriting model. This will launch in the summer and Sample is touting it as “the first business building card that provides credit to businesses with fewer than 10 employees and creates a clear path for business growth.” There are already more than 6,000 people on the site. waiting list.
- Business finance tools, including financial literacy and easier access to grants and programs available to small businesses. Last May, Fundid launched a grant matching feature that provides business owners with a single point of access to set criteria and match grants to meet specific needs.
The addition of a credit card is one of the new features prompted by the company’s first fundraising of $3.25 million in seed funding led by Nevcaut Ventures. They were joined by The Artemis Fund (this is the second announcement they have been involved in this week, including Update) and Builders and Sponsors.
In addition to building a card product, Sample intends to use the new funding to attract its first customers for the credit and card business – most of its customers use the grant matching product – and to recruit new employees. Fundid itself has fewer than 10 full-time employees.
Meanwhile, while she didn’t do it initially, Sample found that Fundid’s approach was to help women and minority business owners, who often make up the majority of small business owners.
“We feel we have a unique approach to addressing the issue of access to capital for businesses aged 10 and under, and if we can do that, we can target all marginalized founders with something that won’t make them feel marginalized. ” she added.
Credit: techcrunch.com /