Our takeaways from the 2017 Americas Alternative Finance Industry Report

The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has released their 2017 report on the alternative finance industry in the Americas. It’s a lot to take in—77 pages of rich data provided by more than 273 lenders, platforms, and consultants (including Lighter Capital). Here are our major takeaways.

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A sustainable way forward for online lending

In mid-April, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released findings from its 2016 small business credit survey, which asked more than 10,000 small business across the country their opinions on lending institutions. One of the big takeaways? Small businesses really don’t like online lenders.

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VC in 2016 was hard to find for founders and nerve-wracking for LPs

With the exception of Jet and Dollar Shave Club's mega-exits, 2016 was a disappointing year for VCs hoping to cash out, according to PitchBook. The drought comes after 2015's active year for unicorns going liquid, but it continues the downward trend of the last two years.

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Three reflections on the future of online lending from LendIt

Last week, three colleagues and I attended LendIt in San Francisco. It was a great way to connect with 4,000 other people working in online lending and fintech across the U.S. and overseas, as well as service providers. It covered all flavors of balance sheet and marketplace lending across the commercial and consumer landscapes from auto to mortgage, and student loans to small business loans.

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The state of startups in Seattle

I joined the Lighter Capital team just over a month ago as VP of Business Development and it’s been an absolute blast. We have a great team with a vibrant, entrepreneur-friendly culture and investment model and a strong track record.

While I learned a lot investing over $40M as an early-stage VC in the early 2000s, this is something altogether different—and much better! We have several strong tech ecosystem partnerships in place and I’m excited to build on this foundation.

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Our five takeaways from SaaStr Annual 2016

Our team gained so much from attending SaaStr Annual, and unsurprisingly, we learned the most from the time we spent talking with and listening to entrepreneurs. Here are five things we took away from the conference.

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Entrepreneurs fess up: the key reason why their promising startup crashed

A few months ago, we published a post on five reasons why startups fail. People don’t like to talk about it, but startups, or early stage technology businesses are risky. Statistically, 9 out of 10 startups fail.

Of course, it is hard to pinpoint one specific reason or event that causes the failure, but recently we found CBInsights’ roundup of startup post-mortems very revealing. Plus, it’s always good to hear it directly from the entrepreneurs.

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5 lending tech CEOs discuss small business lending innovation at LendIt

This week the Lighter Capital team has the great opportunity to be in New York, sponsoring the LendIt conference. LendIt is the largest conference series dedicated to the global online lending community and brings together online lending platforms, financial innovators, and investors all around the world. Our CEO BJ Lackland was on the Small Business Lending Innovators panel yesterday. Along with four other CEOs in the SMB lending space, BJ discussed trends and challenges in online lending.

So what did these five CEOs think are the most important trends in small business lending today?

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Three core values we believe in SMB online lending

We are proud to announce that Lighter Capital will be a sponsor of this year’s LendIt Conference, which is the world’s largest annual gathering of the online lending community. Our team will be there from April 13-15 and I will be participating in a panel discussing innovations in small business lending.

The LendIt conference gives us a chance to share our vision on how to take online lending to the next level. While today there are more funding options for entrepreneurs to choose from, few online lending models support a healthy startup’s sustainable growth.

Here are three core values that Lighter Capital believes in helping to drive the online lending industry forward. We call it Capital-as-a Service, a way of providing capital that better serves the entrepreneurs.

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VC highlights the funding gap Lighter Capital fills so well

This past week, Geekwire interviewed venture capitalist Bill Bryant of DFJ following his recent return to Seattle from London. On the same day, GeekWire ran a news brief about the accelerating interest in Lighter Capital’s brand of funding, effectively answering  Bryant’s call for a new model of early growth funding to fill the gap facing entrepreneurs between the friends and family stage and accessing institutional venture capital.

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