Accel Partners announced today it has invested $30m in next-generation small business finance provider, Capital Access Network, Inc. (“CAN”). As part of the transaction, Accel partner, Kevin Efrusy, will join CAN’s board of directors, and Accel vice president, John Locke, will join as an observer.
For Accel, the investment marks the continuation of a thesis of investing aggressively behind companies providing innovative, web-based solutions for small businesses. To date, Accel has backed companies reshaping how businesses acquire customers (Facebook, Groupon, and Etsy) and run their businesses (Dropbox, Squarespace, and 99 Designs). Recently, Accel has made a push into small business financial products, investing in companies like Braintree and OzForex, which are reshaping how small businesses accept payments and make foreign transactions, respectively.
“From our work with small businesses, it’s clear that one of the most pressing issues for merchants is access to credit and working capital,” said Accel partner, Kevin Efrusy. “Especially today, banks are unable to play effectively in this market. Large institutions cannot reach, evaluate, or serve small businesses efficiently. Many newcomers to the finance space are constrained by limited access to and very high-cost capital combined with high portfolio losses given unseasoned risk scoring models. Capital Access Network has by far the strongest team, scale, and data-driven approach to this market.”
CAN, together with its subsidiaries, constitutes the largest, non-bank alternative capital provider to small businesses in the U.S. The company uses its own real-time platform and risk scoring models to provide capital to small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) in the U.S. and Latin America and has funded over $2 billion in capital to SMBs under the brands NewLogic Business Loans and AdvanceMe, representing roughly 100,000 distinct small business finance transactions.
“SMBs are the engine of every economy and need capital to grow and expand,” said CAN CEO, Glenn Goldman. “Even in a difficult economy, at a time when banks and big financial firms are pulling back from the SMB market, we continue to grow — funding thousands of entrepreneurs every year from medical practices, shoe stores and auto repair shops on ‘Main Street’ to clothing, accessory and home product etailers, collectable sellers and other ecommerce players online.”
CAN’s proprietary underwriting algorithms continuously churn through its vast data stacks of historical merchant demographic, firmographic, psychographic and social and behavioral profiles seeking and seasoning new behavioral and synthetic risk indicators and recombining those indicators into new risk scorecards. “Behavioral risk scoring, rather than just examining a small business owner’s FICO score, allows us to say ‘yes’ to a higher percentage of SMBs than traditional sources, while keeping our losses at the lowest levels in the industry,” said Goldman.
For CAN, which is growing quickly and profitably, the investment marks an opportunity to accelerate growth and define a new category of next-generation small business finance. “We’ve used our data, systems and scoring, combined with a white glove service level validated through our work with the customer bases of several giant financial companies, to build a best in class platform,” said Goldman. “While we had no need for capital, the Accel relationship came along in the midst of our total reengineering of our online merchant experience which by April 2012 will feature new user interfaces, merchant portals and online approvals. Working with Accel will turbocharge those efforts,” said Goldman. “We see a tremendous near-term opportunity to leverage online and social channels to extend our market leading position and change permanently, and for the better, how SMBs get the capital they need to grow. We can think of no better partners than the team at Accel – given their tremendous experience working with disruptive online leaders – to help us achieve this goal.”
CAN is based in New York with offices in Boston, Atlanta, and Costa Rica. The Company is hiring aggressively across all geographies and function areas, with particular focus on online engineering and marketing talent.
About Capital Access Network, Inc.
Capital Access Network, Inc. (CAN) is the leading provider of next generation “Daily Remittance” powered financial products and services for small and mid-sized businesses (SMB) in the U.S. and SMB capital providers internationally. Daily Remittance financial products combine behavioral risk scoring and data driven risk management to enable the delivery of more capital to the right small businesses while decreasing provider risk. CAN and its subsidiaries offer transaction request and fulfillment capabilities through multiple channel options which can be white-labeled or co-branded, including online applications and unique web-based social resources, tools, data and information. Learn more at www.CapitalAccessNetwork.com, www.AdvanceMe.com and www.NewLogicBusinessLoans.com
About Accel Partners
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel today invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, California, New York City, London and Bangalore, as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel.
Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful companies, many of which have defined their categories, including: AdMob, Atlassian, Braintree, Dealer.com, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Groupon, Kayak, metroPCS, OzForex, QlikTech, Quidsi, Rovio (Angry Birds), Squarespace, Walmart.com, Wonga, and 99 Designs. For more information, please visit the Accel Partners web site at accel.com, or on Facebook at facebook.com/accel.