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How Lighter Capital and NAB delivered for Australian startup CourseLoop — in multiple ways

From CourseLoop’s perspective a deal with Lighter Capital meant more than quick funding, it was also a confidence booster for their existing investor pool of friends and family and a stepping stone to their next round of funding.

Founded:

2015

Headquarters:

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Industry:

Education

Recent VC Funding:

None

Recent Lighter Capital Funding:

How Lighter Capital and NAB delivered for Australian startup CourseLoop — in multiple ways

A Partnership in Practice

Over the past decade, Lighter Capital has provided over $200M in non-dilutive funding to more than 400 tech entrepreneurs without taking equity or warrants.  Lighter is the pioneer and leader in revenuebased financing for B2B SaaS companies. With a revenue-based loan, a company pays a percentage of its revenue every month until the loan is fully repaid.  This funding model perfectly aligns Lighter’s success with that of its customers. In months where customers have very little revenue, the loan payments are de minimis.


In late 2020, Lighter Capital partnered with NAB, Australia’s largest small business bank, to bring its non-dilutive financing product to Australian entrepreneurs.  As part of the partnership, NAB offers special resources, including dedicated small business specialists for NAB business transaction account holders and access to industry insights, resources, and networking events.  These perks, coupled with Lighter Capital’s industry-leading revenue-based financing model open a world of opportunity for Australian SAAS startups.


CourseLoop CEO Brian Clark initially heard about Lighter Capital in 2017 prior to the company’s entry into the Australian market.  Brian recalls thinking, “this model is the perfect transition from friends and family, but at the time, Lighter Capital only funded American businesses with American revenue, and we didn’t have any of that yet.”  Brian was thrilled to hear from a NAB banker in 2020 that Lighter was entering the Australian market.


Building the Bridge from the U.S. to Australia

CourseLoop CEO, Brian Clark, started his career in the U.S. working with Internet startups and technology banking before relocating to Australia where he became the CIO at RMIT University.  Brian noticed a big opportunity in higher education.  “Coming out of banking and finance where everything was focused on workflow, automation and improving productivity, I saw that was not the case inside universities and thought there was room for improvement,” explains Brian.  Brian set out to create a curriculum management platform to improve a critical part of university operations.


“When I was a university CIO, we did a market scan to buy a solution and it was clear everything in the market was deficient in some way,” says Brian,  “We knew that if we didn’t build a robust, scalable and end to end platform, universities would likely have to keep building this themselves.”  Since its founding in 2014, CourseLoop has been implemented into ten Australian universities, capturing over 25% of the Australian higher education market.  CourseLoop recently expanded into the U.K. and the U.S. “One of the benefits of our business model is, once a university integrates a platform like CourseLoop into their wider ecosystem it tends to be in place for a number of years.  So the solution becomes really sticky.”


From CourseLoop’s perspective a deal with Lighter Capital meant more than quick funding, it was also a confidence booster for their existing investor pool of friends and family and a stepping stone to their next round of funding.  Though CourseLoop explored jumping right into VC funding, it just wasn’t the right fit for their stage.


“The U.S. venture capital firms we’re engaging with love our model and the success we’ve had in Australia and the UK. Demonstrating similar success in the US market is our last hurdle prior to our first institutional funding round.  While we are on our way with UCLA as our first US client, the Lighter Capital funding will help us bridge through that transition.  We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to secure the funding we need to fuel our US growth without diluting our existing shareholders.  Lighter Capital not only brings friendly financing, but they provide valuable connections in both Australia and the U.S.”


A Promising Look to the Future

CourseLoop is one of many Australian startups working with NAB as a trusted bank for their small, but growing, business needs.  The Lighter Capital team is excited to partner with NAB to help more Australian entrepreneurs realise their dreams.  According to Ana Marinkovic, Executive General Manager of Business Direct & Small Business at NAB, “The Lighter Capital – NAB partnership allows the bank to provide Australian startups non-dilutive financing options throughout a company’s lifecycle, all the way from seed stage to IPO or acquisition.”

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About 

CourseLoop

CourseLoop is a true end-to-end curriculum management system with superior ease of integration and user experience. Discover the advanced solution that's elevating student success worldwide.

“The U.S. venture capital firms we’re engaging with love our model and the success we’ve had in Australia and the UK. Demonstrating similar success in the US market is our last hurdle prior to our first institutional funding round.  While we are on our way with UCLA as our first US client, the Lighter Capital funding will help us bridge through that transition.  We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to secure the funding we need to fuel our US growth without diluting our existing shareholders.  Lighter Capital not only brings friendly financing, but they provide valuable connections in both Australia and the U.S.”


Brian Clark
CEO, CourseLoop

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