Lendio is a company that matches thousands of small businesses with the financing needed to grow, recharge and thrive. It is an online marketplace, akin to Kayak, AirBnb or Yelp, but for small business loans. It’s as simple as owners filling out an application and receiving access to more than 75 lenders on the company’s platform.
“Lendio handles the customer experience from start to finish, compiling offers for the borrower to compare rates, terms and payment amounts, and providing expert advice to help them select the ideal loan for their business,” said founder and CEO Brock Blake, who talked to RewardExpert about offering small businesses the best options to turn their dream into a reality.
A decade and counting
The original marketplace was co-founded in 2005 and known as FundingUniverse, designed to connect entrepreneurs with angel investors. After five successful years the company wanted to shift its efforts to provide small business owners with essential funding.
Hence, Lendio was born and bred to serve a larger customer base in a growing small-loan world, offering speedy and most trustworthy loans in a free shopping marketplace. Brock said that between the 28 million small business owners in the United States, most owners on average look for financing every three to five quarters.
“Lendio’s technology not only makes the application process fast and easy, it puts capital in the hands of small business owners much quicker than a traditional financial institution,” he said.
Each borrower is assigned a funding manager that answers questions from the time an application is submitted until the loan closes.
In March of this year, Lendio launched its franchise model to provide small business owners with the ability to discuss financing options on a face-to-face basis with a community expert who understands his or her needs, challenges and potential. In turn, franchise owners provide local owners access to the marketplace.
“Lendio franchises are expanding the company’s local presence and offering services to a new segment of small business owners, bringing options, speed and trust to Main Street — the backbone of America’s economy — in a way that has never been done before,” Brock said.
Funding and the future
Brock advised small owners to stretch dollars as much as possible when they obtain funding. He said slow growth is positive, though opportunities should be investigated to establish better long-term operations.
Spend when it counts, he added, such as paying for increased marketing to improve brand awareness, or build inventory in lieu of business surges. Hiring employees who offer longevity instead of just short-term solutions also helps the situation.