A tech platform with a human touch helps walk entrepreneurs through the funding process from beginning to end.
If you’ve spent any time as an entrepreneur in search of funding, you’ve heard the dreaded stat — less than 1% of companies will ever raise money via angel investors or venture capitalists.
This leaves 99% of entrepreneurs in quite the pickle, trying to keep their business afloat while navigating all possible routes to fund a startup. It’s a complex and daunting task, one that the majority of folks aren’t equipped to tackle in an easy or efficient way.
Thankfully, the three founders of Fundwise Capital — Leo Kanell, Corey Price, and Mitch Plowman — want to help.
“When we first started Fundwise, the idea was to build a platform that educates people and connects them with the best funding sources,” said Kanell, who serves as CEO of the company. “The more we went along, the more we realized this is different from other businesses where you can just connect someone with a platform and send them on their way. There has to be a lot more of a human touch, a lot more explanation, because finance is much more complicated. Especially business funding, where there are so many different products out there — it’s difficult for even a very intelligent entrepreneur to know what their best funding option is, specific to them.”
Okay, let’s say I’m an entrepreneur instead of a dweeby writer. I’ve been turned down by VCs, exhausted my crowdfunding options, and don’t qualify for a substantial bank loan. I have no accounting experience and don’t necessarily know where to turn. What are my options?
Fundwise Capital was founded in June 2016 on this premise, a startup created to help other startups. Most business owners aren’t securing VC money and are unfamiliar with how to explore all of their funding options. Fundwise enters the void with a platform equal parts tech and human.
“90% of businesses don’t have the profitable business tax returns that it takes to qualify for most bank and SBA loans,” said Kanell. “There needed to be alternative financing options built out for those type of entrepreneurs, especially startup entrepreneurs…and the human touch is significant, where we can walk someone through the process of business funding from beginning to end.”
Taking a complex process and simplifying it for users is the dream of every company. Fundwise is no different, intent on finding the best possible funding options for each entrepreneur or business.
“When a client comes to us, we qualify them based off of their credit,” said Kanell. “We connect them with a number of different products, it could be revolving credit lines, it could be business credit cards with 0% interest, it could be an unsecured term loan where they don’t need collateral, and we’ll also connect them with traditional lines of credit. Our platform and algorithms are based upon taking someone’s credit income profile, where they’re located regionally, and then connecting them with not just one lender, but probably four or six different lenders that can offer $10,000-$20,000 each. So if somebody needs $50,000 in funding for their business, the problem they usually have is going to a lender and asking for the full amount. Nine times out of ten, they get told no. Knowing the right lenders to go to — and the right order based on which credit bureaus they’re going to pull — is the value we bring to them, getting them to the right places that will give them the cumulative amount of money they need to jumpstart a business.”
When the funding process is compete, Fundwise offers an education portal that entrepreneurs can use moving forward — basic funding rules, ways to minimize interest, essentially a bunch of smart ways they can use capital to grow their business.
In the last year, this approach has helped Fundwise Capital grow themselves, expanding the team to 35 employees and moving between offices in Springville. Kanell estimates they help secure between $1.5M-$3M in weekly funding for clients and if he has his way, that number will continue to grow.
“We want to be the premier startup funding source outside of venture capital and crowdfunding,” said Kanell. “We want to dominate in that space, we want to be known as the company that helps every entrepreneur who has the dream of starting a business get funding.”