In a Nutshell: When small businesses in Canada find themselves in need of a fast, affordable loan that a large bank won’t deliver, they can turn to Lendified. The company isn’t positioned as a competitor of larger institutions but instead provides complementary products that fall outside most bank offerings. Lendified’s automated application process takes only a few minutes and almost instantly provides prospective borrowers with a personalized quote at a competitive rate. And upcoming Lendified partnerships will allow the company to more effectively serve customers across Canada, helping businesses meet their financial needs and prosper.
When Darren Smith was 23, he founded a brewery in Canada with his family. They broke ground in the summer of 2009, and in 2010, Lake of Bays Brewing Co. opened its doors in Baysville, Ontario. The first few months were spent finishing the facility and preparing the first batches of beer — which became an immediate hit in Ontario.
With its initial success, the potential seemed unlimited for Smith and his family brewery. But to fulfill that potential, the business needed additional capital quickly to keep pace with demand. So, to keep Lake of Bays Brewing Co. on track, Smith turned to Lendified.
“We offer small business loans online up to $150,000. It’s much faster and easier than a bank loan,” said Austin Pantaleo, Marketing Manager at Lendified. “And it’s much more affordable than other alternative financing options that exist in Canada. So we can help a small business save on interest while helping them build their business credit.”
Borrowers can save up to 40% by borrowing through Lendified over loans from other alternative lenders, and the credit they build helps them qualify for better lending rates in the future. Borrowers can apply online for free and receive a nearly instant, personalized quote.
Small business owners can apply for loans for anything they need to grow their business. Popular uses include inventory, equipment, hiring, renovations, marketing campaigns, and refinancing. The terms for these products extend up to 24 months with biweekly payments.
To be eligible, you must have a credit score over 610 and a profitable business in Canada with at least 6 months in operation and $100,000 in annual revenue.
Businesses that meet these criteria can turn to Lendified to get the capital necessary to grow and thrive.
Access to Working Capital Helps Small Businesses Thrive
The “Big Five” banks — Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada, and Toronto-Dominion Bank — dominate the finance industry in Canada. Lendified offers financing products to small and midsized businesses that aren’t served by large institutions because they are seen as too risky by the Big Five.
“They’re not structured in a way where they have the incentive to lend to small businesses,” Pantaleo said. “If you think about the process a financial institution goes through to adjudicate credit, it’s pretty much the same for a small business looking for a $50,000 loan as it is for a medium-size business looking for a $5 million loan. In most cases, the loan isn’t profitable enough to justify the effort.”
By offering an alternative route to funding, Lendified provides SMBs access to essential working capital and enhances their ability to meet financial needs. Gaining quick access to a loan can mean the difference between taking advantage of a sudden opportunity or missing out. It can help to smooth out cash flow for a seasonal business. And it can enable the borrower to address emergencies like fixing broken equipment so their business can get up and running again.
“Working capital is the lifeblood of every small business,” Pantaleo said. “Historically, because of the limited options available in Canada, a lot of business owners have been stuck without the working capital they need or overcharged by other alternative lenders. That’s why we exist.”
Automated Applications Mean Faster Quotes and Approval
Every small business loan is based on the five Cs of credit. These are the character of the borrower; the capacity of that borrower to repay the loan; the capital the borrower has invested in the business; the conditions of the loan’s use and of the market that may affect the business’s performance; and the collateral pledged as security for the loan.
Lendified’s business model is founded on automated evaluation of that criteria, making it easier for the lender to issue funds to small businesses and, in turn, making it easier for small business owners to apply. Borrowers need only take a few minutes to give some basic details about themselves and their business as well as copies of their business’s bank statements.
“We look at the business’ cash flow to ensure that it’s a responsible decision for borrowers — that they can actually afford the payments, and it will put them in a better position.” — Austin Pantaleo, Marketing Manager at Lendified
“They will instantly learn if they pre-qualify and receive a quote,” Pantaleo said. “That’s because our powerful technology takes those inputs and creates a pretty comprehensive profile of the applicant that is unique to them.”
Lendified’s system performs a soft credit check and searches proprietary databases as well as the deep web for additional information on the business applying for a loan, verifying important data points such as its financial health and cash flow. This back-end automation saves users time and effort, and it provides them with the assurance that the financial product they’re applying for will be a good fit for their needs.
“We look at the business’ cash flow to ensure that it’s a responsible decision for borrowers — that they can actually afford the payments, and it will put them in a better position,” Pantaleo said.
Interest Rates Tailored to Each Applicant’s Situation
According to Pantaleo, some alternative lenders provide financing when it’s not in the best interest of the business, and in some cases causes the business to default. Subsequently, these lenders turn around and charge other customers higher rates to offset their losses.
“That’s not the type of lender we are,” Pantaleo said. “Because we have a thorough process, we can offer the most appropriate and affordable rates compared to the other options out there.”
Lendified does not have a standard interest rate. Instead, it determines each rate during the online application process. It bases rate offers on the individual borrower’s unique profile, needs, and circumstances.
“Every business is unique, so often we’ll have some clarifying questions before we issue the final approval,” Pantaleo said. “We don’t send any money out the door until we’ve had a conversation with the business owner. We want to make sure they’re comfortable with what we’re offering — and vice versa.”
Many customers hold loans from other alternative lenders, and they turn to Lendified to refinance them under more favorable terms and conditions. Other Lendified borrowers are small businesses with existing relationships with other financial institutions. They often use Lendified to supplement a limited amount of funding from their bank or to secure faster funding to provide a capital injection.
“Once they’re approved, they can get their funding in as little as 24 hours. They can electronically sign the loan agreement, and we can initiate the transfer so it goes directly into their business bank account,” Pantaleo said.
New Partnerships will Help Lendified Serve More Businesses
Lake of Bays Brewing Co. has continued to expand its hoppy offerings as well as its reach across Ontario. Smith and company even opened the Huntsville Brewhouse, a 4,000-square-foot space featuring extra-small batch brewing facilities, a full kitchen, and seating for more than 100 patrons. And the company can enjoy that new space thanks to the services provided by Lendified.
As Lake of Bays Brewing Co. expands to better serve beer enthusiasts in Ontario, Lendified will continue to improve its offerings for other businesses that find themselves in need of fast loans at competitive rates. One way Lendified pursues this mission is through new strategic and referral partnerships that allow the company to better serve its customers.
“There are some large partnerships we’ll be announcing in 2019,” Pantaleo said. “We’re very excited about that.”
These new partnerships mean Lendified can continue to offer fast, easy, and affordable funding to businesses throughout Canada. Quick, convenient access to funds can be a boon for small businesses, their owners, and their employees. That also benefits the economy and, ultimately, Canada as a whole.