After spending 30 years in the financial services industry, Canadian bank executives Kevin Clark and Troy Wright knew all too well the lending gap that many small businesses find themselves in.
“Kevin and Troy saw that thousands of small businesses were being turned down for financing each year by the banks. These small businesses would either just wait until they could qualify for bank financing — not getting the capital they need to grow — or would resort to other alternative financing solutions that were far too expensive and in some cases harmful, putting the small business into a debt cycle,” explains Austin Pantaleo, the marketing manager for online small business loan provider, Lendified.
Pantaleo explains that Clark and Wright set out to leverage technology in order to create a fast and affordable funding solution for Canadian small businesses, launching Lendified together in 2015.
“With our proprietary technology we’re able to more efficiently and accurately identify the unique risk profile of each applicant and deliver an offer specific to them,” he said. “We don’t have boilerplate rates; our system analyzes hundreds of data points before determining what the applicant qualifies for. “
As a result of this customized technology solution Pantaleo says that Lendified has very low default rates, which in turn allows the company to provide even better terms for borrowers.
Rather than spending countless hours preparing applications and business plans only to wait weeks or even months to find out if they qualify for a bank loan, small businesses across Canada are now able to visit Lendified.com and get funded in as fast as 48 hours.
“We have a three-step application process that takes minutes to complete, and the business owner is instantly able to pre-qualify and receive a free quote,” explained Pantaleo.
Pantaleo adds that the first two steps of the application ask users some basic questions about themselves and their business, with the third step merely asking applicants to authorize their bank to send Lendify electronic copies of their bank statements.
“There’s no need to dig up paperwork, send us a business plan, or go to a branch and wait in line; everything is handled through our simple online application,” he said. “Upon approval the business owner is able to electronically sign their loan agreement, and we can transfer money into their bank account within 24 hours.”
Not only does Lenfidied offer users competitive rates, but customers are also able to use the loan to build their business credit, putting them in a better financial position in the future. Perhaps that is why the company has received over $250 million in funding requests in its first two years in operation, and has delivered millions to entrepreneurs across the country in a wide variety of industries and sectors.
“We serve entrepreneurs ranging from those who are in their 20s to those in their 70s, and have been in business for just a year to over 20 years.” said Pantaleo. “It varies quite a bit, but the underlying need is the same; they need fast and affordable working capital, and they haven’t been able to access that easily.”
Lendified is currently available to any business that’s incorporated in Canada with at least 1 year in operation, $100,000 or more in annual revenue, and a personal credit score of 610 or higher. Pantaleo adds that while the small business lending space has grown rapidly in Canada in recent years not all lenders are the same.
“It’s really important to know your capital provider so you can trust them and build a relationship,” he said. “You should know who is behind them, their background, where they are, their level of security, what they’re offering, and what the true cost of their financing is.”
Pantaleo explains that in Lendified’s case the company’s founders are former banking executives and thought leaders in the financial services industry who have, along with their partners, dedicated millions of their own capital to support small businesses. Lendified is proudly based in Canada, with offices in Toronto and Vancouver, and recently secured another $60 million to increase its small business lending capacity.
Pantaleo adds that Canadians can expect to hear about more exciting partnerships and product announcements in the coming year that will further enable small businesses to receive the capital they need to grow. Though he’s unable to provide specific details yet Pantaleo assures customers that “2018 is going to be a very exciting year for us and the small business community.”