We’re excited to announce our investment in Credit Engine, Inc., as well as the launch of their online small-business lending platform, “LENDY.” Those of you familiar with successful alternative lending platforms in the U.S. will recognize the opportunity right away.
Imagine you are an owner of an up-and-coming restaurant. You just opened for business about a year ago, but your rating on a popular restaurant review site has already passed 4.5 thanks to an increasing number of early adopters. While business is good, you’ve invested most of your money back into your business. You needed to aggressively promote yourself to get those early adopters to your restaurant in the first place. Your interior needed renovations to give your restaurant a sophisticated ambiance to match your culinary excellence. All of this costs more than you could have ever imagined, so while your restaurant is full, you’re still just barely scraping by.
Then, all of a sudden, you get sick. Really sick. The hospital recommends that you rest for a month before getting back to work.
Now you’re in a bind: you need to stay open to pay rent, but you can’t work because you can barely get out of bed!
Short-term cash flows issues like these are common. They don’t only apply to restaurants, and are not always as dramatic as getting sick. You could be a small shop that just found out prime real-estate opened up and you want to rent it out right away, before anyone else gets to it. Or you could be an e-commerce site owner that just had a flood of orders that you won’t be able to fulfill without some cash upfront. Whatever the case may be, your options at the moment are not only scarce, but painful.
It will likely take 2-3 months to get approved for a bank loan, and you’ll need to put together a business plan for the ordeal.
LENDY comes to the rescue by providing a seamless borrowing experience 100% online. Enter relevant information, and LENDY will use data such as historical transactions, as well as information from restaurant review sites to algorithmically approve (or deny) and provide you with your rate.
We tragically passed on one of the big alternative lending platforms in the US. Even the most active Fintech investor in the world misses out on huge opportunities like these sometimes. We won’t make that mistake again!
We’re thrilled to back Uchiyama-san and team on their journey to revolutionize the lending industry. Go team Credit Engine!