Qwil, a company that gives loans to small businesses and freelancers, has received $24.4 million in equity, as well as $200 million in debt funding, according to a report by Reuters.
Investors in Qwil include Jefferies Financial Group, while the funding round was led by venture outfit PeakSpan. Mosaik Partners, Reciprocal Ventures, Silicon Valley Bank, Cantos, Sam Hodges and Prosper President Emeritus Ron Suber all participated in the round.
Qwil, which is based in San Francisco, said it was going to use the funding to expand, and hire new employees, while increasing the breadth of the people and businesses it lends to.
CEO Johnny Reinsch co-founded the company in 2015. Reinsch said he came up with the idea for the company when he was a freelancer and a client didn’t pay him on time, causing him to nearly default on the mortgage of his house. He said that because he couldn’t get a loan from a bank, his options were limited and mostly consisted of predatory and higher-interest loans.
Qwil works with freelancers and on-demand marketplaces to allow for workers to get paid sooner than when invoices are due. The company does not look at traditional credit scores when deciding on loan eligibility, instead using different information like payment data, which helps to keep the company’s costs at a manageable level.
“We have been able to price this very competitively given the price doesn’t rely on FICO scores,” Reinsch said.
The company charges a flat fee for the advance pay, at 20 percent. Qwil can send its payments to 140 countries and do so in all the major currencies, the company said.
“We’ve partnered with Qwil in their mission to provide fair alternative financing to those typically underserved by the financial industry — contractors and small businesses,” Brian McGrath, head of principal finance and FinTech investing at Jefferies Financial Group, said in a statement.