Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Boyd Pederson, founder and CEO of Bigstone,
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Globally, growing small businesses are starved for capital and investors also are starved of sources of high quality yield. Both needs can be met with a trusted loan market venue.
Regulatory change means banks have trouble providing loans to SMEs without a home, or vehicle as collateral; the resulting 1.2T working capital gap results in 40% of SMEs without sufficient access to funds to grow. These mean SME’s need new alternative forms of finance such as Bigstone.
We seek to be the most trusted small business finance by connecting small and medium businesses with a world of lenders, providing better rates to borrowers and risk-adjusted returns to investors seeking yield
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We’ve just recently launched our first loan product and the key challenge in a new and young market is to not grow costs ahead of market demand.
So we plan to grow organically, build awareness with accountants and financial intermediaries and build trust with lenders. Trust is the most important part of a lending marketplace, it needs to be transparent to succeed.
In parallel, we are building the infrastructure to grow exponentially when the mass market arrives.
Finance is provided by patient long-term capital investors and founders. Looking ahead, we will eventually need to raise external funds to grow at the pace we aspire to and reach into new markets.
What's the biggest challenge facing your business?
The biggest challenge in growing a two sided marketplace is attracting the attention of high-quality small business borrowers who are growing rapidly and need alternative sources of funding. Once borrowers know that there is a better alternative to traditional banks, and one which is much more cost-effective than our balance sheet competitors, we expect volume will grow rapidly.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
We provide simple, fast, and fair funding to small businesses.
- Simple: Easy to understand term loan, level repayments over the term, easy to use 24/7 experience.
- Fast: Quote in minutes, approval in hours, funding in just a few days
- Fair: No application fees, No facility fees, No annual review fees, No exit fees, Pre-pay any amount, at any time without penalty.
Quite simply we have the best capital product available to small business.
For investors, we match the loans that fit their risk-appetite and receive returns 100% matched to those loans, for only 1% of the return and only when your capital is returned.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
None, but I love WAZE, it's the best way to navigate to a new place.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
Learn how to sell. No matter what role you have in life you need to be able to understand how to get others to come with you.
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