Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to the most common questions entrepreneurs ask about our financing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to the most common questions entrepreneurs ask about our financing.

Where did this funding model come from?

Revenue-based financing, sometimes known as royalty-based financing, was used by oil investors in the early 20th century to finance oil and natural gas exploration, and later by the pharmaceutical industry, Hollywood, and energy companies. Investors began applying it to early-stage companies in the 1980s. Revenue-based financing blends the best of bank debt and venture capital, and a company should expect the cost of capital to fall within that range.

Do you offer seed funding for pre-revenue startups?

Our revenue-based financing model (also known as a RevenueLoan®) is best suited for companies that are currently generating at least $200,000 in annual revenue. We require an average of $15K MRR over your last three months. If you’re a pre-revenue startup, you can still apply online so that we can keep you on our radar.

What type of companies do you fund?

Our revenue-based financing model is best suited for software, SaaS, tech services, digital media, and similar companies. For entrepreneurs in these high-growth, high-margin markets, Lighter Capital’s revenue-based financing is a new way to raise growth capital without giving up equity. Entrepreneurs in industries with inherently more hard assets (i.e. collateral) will generally find that there are existing sources of capital that are better suited for their needs. Those industries include real estate, food and beverage, manufacturing, construction, and related services.

Do you only invest in certain geographies?

Currently, Lighter Capital provides RevenueLoans® to U.S. companies only. In the future we plan to begin offering funding to companies based outside of the United States.

How much funding can I get?

We’re currently offering $50k-$3M in growth capital to qualified companies. You can qualify for a loan for up to 33% of your annualized revenue run-rate. For example, if you are on track for $1M in sales this year, we can invest about $330k. More about revenue-based financing.

Is revenue-based financing just a fancy way to say “factoring” or “receivables financing?”

No. Lighter Capital provides revenue-based financing, which means we give you unrestricted capital for growth in return for a small percentage of monthly revenues. “Factors” or “receivables financiers” basically speed up the cash flow from sales that already happened (or are just about to happen). Factoring provides working capital; revenue-based financing is growth capital. It comes with fewer restrictions and impositions on your workflow, and is paid monthly compared to daily or weekly, as with factoring.

What do I owe in return?

We will ask for a percentage of revenue (usually between 2% and 8%, never more than 10%) until the total repayment cap is reached. Generally, this is calculated and debited monthly via Automated Clearing House.

If it’s a revenue loan, then what’s the interest rate?

Unlike a traditional loan, revenue-based financing doesn’t have a set payment amount each month. Instead, you pay a percentage of topline revenue. If you beat your plan and grow faster, your payments go up accordingly, but if you miss your plan, your monthly payment goes down.

Do I keep paying this percentage of topline revenue forever?

No. Payments stop when the return cap has been paid back. RevenueLoans® are normally repaid over 3–5 years, but if your revenue grows faster than expected, you can pay off the loan sooner.

So I can pay back the loan early?

While you may pay back your loan (plus return cap) at any time, there is generally no incentive for paying back the loan early. We may make an exception if you expect a special event (a VC round, for example) within the first year.

Will seeing revenue-based financing in my company’s funding history make VCs nervous?

No. Angels and VCs tend to respond positively to revenue-based financing. It gives your company more leverage without diluting equity, which future investors like for two reasons

  1. It makes the pie bigger for them.
  2. Having fewer early-stage investors means there’s more pie to go around.

There’s also no valuation event, which helps keep things simple.

Many of our clients have used our funding to scale their companies and earn better term sheets from prospective investors, and many of our clients have gone on to raise VC funding.

What happens if my company gets acquired?

First, we congratulate you on your hard work paying off! Second, you as a borrower would have a repayment commitment to uphold, which in the case of an acquisition can be done by “buying us out” of the remaining debt.

What do I get besides just the money? How does Lighter Capital add value?

Lighter Capital’s team has many years of experience funding and scaling startups. Many of our clients who have gone on to raise venture funding made their first connections at VC firms through the Lighter Capital leadership team. If you have a question or problem, chances are someone in the Lighter Capital community has been there before and can help you. Both our team and our community are very supportive, and will help you in any way we can.