Raising capital is often a challenge for startup businesses in Florida. It’s a process that often takes several months, especially for entrepreneurs without significant assets to get the ball rolling. A Canadian alternative lender based in Toronto is offering a unique funding solution for e-commerce startups: It claims to be able to quickly make an offer to startups operating in North America within 20 minutes.
In exchange for providing capital to startups, which can range from $10,000 to $10 million, the lender takes a portion of a new company’s top-line revenue. This is done in lieu of requiring the founder to sign over equity. While not a new concept, this approach to lending is appealing because it gives founders a chance to grow new e-commerce businesses without giving up ownership.
The lending company’s founder notes that because it uses digital data to make decisions, it is taking the bias out of the decision-making process, which traditionally does not favor women. The lender’s loan product is also unique in that it does not have a repayment timeline, nor does the interest rate compound over time. After the advance is received, the lender takes 5 percent off the borrower’s top-line monthly revenue until the funds are repaid. The fee that’s added on top of this will vary based on how a startup spends the funds. For instance, if a business buys ads from one of the lender’s approved vendors, they’ll be charged a lower fee.
The lender does not automatically provide funds to all startups. It has a due diligence process that includes a requirement for borrowers to connect bank account and advertising data to their platform. A business law attorney may be consulted when a startup is seeking capital to evaluate contracts, prepare legal paperwork and review lender agreements to ensure that terms are clearly described and fair.