Blumberg Capital and RPM Ventures led a $6 million Series A funding round in Able, which provides loans and connects small businesses into a network of borrowers. Other investors in the funding include Peterson Partners and Expansion Ventures AngelList Syndicate.
Able, the world’s first collaborative lender, today announced its nationwide expansion and a $6M Series A funding. Starting today, small businesses across the country can apply for an Able loan and join the Able Network of Borrowers and Backers.
Able uses a new kind of underwriting to fund small businesses, one that distributes underwriting among peers to measure risk and price loans in a more affordable, and personal way. Their model encourages collaboration, not just on the loan, but throughout the process and within the network. Business owners recruit 3-5 Backers — friends, family, customers — to fund 25% of their total loan. Backers can choose their own rate up to Able’s, and the result is a blended rate, on average between 8 and 12%. Each loan is carefully tailored to the needs of each Borrower, and Able manages the monthly repayments.
“If your friends, family, and fans believe in you, then we do too,” said Evan Baehr, co-founder, Able. “And it’s working. In the last year, we’ve watched the Able Network fill with more than 100 of the smartest and most generous entrepreneurs I’ve met — hard working individuals who refuse to let institutions slow their growth. We respect each other. We like each other. We want more than just capital. We want to be a part of something larger. And we can’t wait to open our doors to the rest of the country so apparel manufacturers in Austin can learn from those in Boston, design studios in Chicago can contribute to those in Dallas, and our Backers and Borrowers from all over the country can support each other in new ways.”
Each Borrower and Backer becomes a part of the Able Network, a core piece of Able’s model. Able provides consultative services and feedback, makes strategic connections, and provides opportunities for Borrowers and Backers to connect with and support each other. Able recently launched Ask Able, an opportunity on the first Friday of each month for any small business owner, not just Able members, to schedule a 30-minute consulting call with a member of the Able team across finance, sales, marketing, and more.
“We want to turn the experience of funding on its head for small businesses,” said Will Davis, co-founder, Able. “Seeking capital can be daunting, even depressing, and in many cases what you really want and need is additional support in the form of advice, mentorship, and encouragement. We’ve seen this firsthand with Able over the last year in Austin — our members want much more than a loan, and they want to give back in return. Borrowers have returned to Able for a second loan or to Back someone else, and we’ve even seen Backers become Borrowers themselves. This really is a community committed to helping each other succeed.”
Able also today announced its $6M Series A funding led by Blumberg Capital and RPM Ventures, with participation from Peterson Partners and Expansion Ventures AngelList Syndicate. The funding will be used to grow the team, scale their technology, and refine operations for an even more seamless experience.
“As an early stage venture capital fund, Blumberg Capital is proud to partner with Able and be part of its growth,” said Chris Gottschalk, principal, Blumberg Capital. “Able differentiates itself with an innovative loan structure for small business entrepreneurs and their vast networks. This gives Able and its customers a competitive advantage in the crowded alternative lending space.”
Starting today, Able is available in 40 states and Washington D.C. They are seeking to complete the Able 100, funding 100 great loans by the end of the year and creating an intimate but potent network of Borrowers and Backers.
To learn more about Able and apply for a loan, please visit https://www.ablelending.com/.
Able is the world’s first collaborative lender. We fund small businesses with the support of your network and ours. But, Able is more than a loan. We connect extraordinary entrepreneurs with additional capital, community resources and expert advice when it’s time to grow.
Anyone can apply to join Able. Our network of Borrowers and Backers is over 100 members strong and growing. Business owners can borrow up to $500,000 at rates as low as 8%. Friends and family contribute 25%, and Able covers the rest.
To learn more, nominate your favorite business, or apply yourself visit: http://www.ablelending.com.
Able. More than a loan.