Lighter Capital Raises $100 Million to Fuel Emerging Technology Companies and Closes $9 Million Series B Round
SEATTLE – November 27, 2015 – Lighter Capital , the online investor providing growth capital to technology companies, today announced $100 million in funding from Community Investment Management (CIM). The $100 million will enable the company to fund approximately 500 investments in SaaS, tech services and digital media companies, and the company will increase the total investment amounts per company from $1 million to $2 million. In addition to the fund, Lighter Capital has closed a $9 million Series B equity financing with investments from Voyager Capital, Summit Capital, and individual investors, including an investment from Lighter Capital’s Chairman, Jeff Seely, who is the founder and former Chairman and CEO of Sharebuilder Securities.
Lighter Capital is reshaping the way small businesses access growth capital through its technology platform and better financial structures. In two years the company has increased its investments 10x, making it one of the highest volume funders of technology startups. Focused on providing long-term capital for growing companies, Lighter Capital uses its platform to gather and analyze data — such as accounting, banking and biographical information — to streamline the funding process. Unlike other online lenders, Lighter Capital structures investments to align with the entrepreneur, combining the best aspects of debt and equity. More than a third of Lighter Capital’s portfolio companies have engaged for multiple rounds, allowing them access to additional funds in a week.
“The process of raising capital hasn’t changed in decades, but we are providing a process that feels natural to tech entrepreneurs. Many entrepreneurs will make mileage-status traversing the country for six months begging for money over coffee meetings and PowerPoint pitches,” said BJ Lackland, CEO of Lighter Capital. “Entrepreneurs deserve better. They deserve a process that is as technologically advanced as they are, enabling them to access capital through the web in a matter of weeks. And while VCs are dependent on finding the next Unicorn, our focus is on providing meaningful amounts of capital necessary for an entrepreneur to maximize value in their business.”
Lighter Capital believes that the current funding model is outdated and dependent on personal networks and presentation skills. According to a recent study, it took 40 investor meetings and 12.5 weeks for the average entrepreneur to close a Seed or Series A round. And many entrepreneurs never secure the capital they need. Investments from VCs and Angels is time consuming and banks aren’t equipped with products or models to best suit technology companies. Through Lighter Capital’s platform, entrepreneurs can access up to $2 million in growth capital in as little as two weeks without having to disrupt day to day business operations.
“Lighter Capital has created an innovative funding model that has great benefit for small businesses and directly aligns the interests of the entrepreneur and investor,” said Jacob Haar, Managing Partner at Community Investment Management, an impact investment firm that focuses on small businesses lending platforms. “They are supporting technology companies with a responsible, transparent, and entrepreneur-friendly product that will scale. The $100 million investment is our commitment to join Lighter Capital in changing the way companies access funding.”
Financial Technology Partners (“FT Partners”) served as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Lighter Capital on its equity capital raise.
Community Investment Management ("CIM") is an impact investment firm focused on marketplace lending. CIM provides responsible and transparent financing to small businesses in the United States in partnership with a select group of technology-driven lenders. CIM combines experience, innovation, and values to align the interests of small business borrowers and investors. More information is available at www.cim-llc.com.
Lighter Capital is the pioneering leader in founder-friendly, non-dilutive financing. Since 2010, we have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in over 1,000 rounds of financing to U.S., Canadian, and Australian tech companies. Founders achieve success on their terms with Lighter’s tech-enabled financing which has no fees and does not require the company to give up equity. The application process takes minutes and requires no pitch deck. Beyond financing, Lighter’s “more than money” benefits provide founders access to invaluable connections within the Lighter Capital Community, resources, and product discount opportunities. Learn more and apply at https://www.lightercapital.com.
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