Alternative Finances

SMB Online Lender StreetShares Secures $4.5M

StreetShares, an online lender that offers loans to small businesses — many of them veteran-run — has secured another batch of funding.

The company, founded by CEO Mark Rockefeller, announced that it has secured a $4.5 million Series A round but noted that the round is still open. StreetShares offers lines of credit for SMBs for between $2,000 and $100,000 for up to three years.

As noted in The Wall Street Journalthis startup has managed to wade through a difficult lending environment, in which VC funding, in many cases, has slowed in the past year. But, for Rockefeller’s veteran-backed business model, there seems to be funds flowing in.

Rockefeller, with a military background himself, found inspiration for the company when he saw payday lenders preying on young troops who needed loans right after leaving the military.

That’s where he saw there could be a better way to offer those veterans a chance to build their business plans — but with fair loans.

StreetShares’ business model is to help veterans act as borrowers but also as lenders, since they work with their loans through marketplace lending platforms as well.

That way, the loans carry lower risks as borrowers are more likely to repay when they realize the loans are coming from people like themselves.

The most recent funding round was led by FinTech venture firm Fenway Summer, which was founded by Raj Date, former deputy director of the CFPB. Endeavor Equity Holdings and Pivot Investments also participated in the round.

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