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Prospa

Online lender Prospa raises $20 million from Silicon Valley’s Partners for Growth

Prospa, the startup behind an online lending platform targeting small businesses, has announced that it has raised a $20 million debt facility from Silicon Valley based VC firm Partners For Growth (PFG).

The announcement comes only a few months after the startup closed a $25 million funding round led by AirTree Ventures in February, which contributed to helping the business grow its technology and team.

Bringing the startup’s total raise to date to approximately $118 million, the new funding will be used to help accelerate the company’s “general corporate purposes” forward, according to the company’s CFO, Ed Bigazzi.

“The PFG funding will be used for general corporate purposes including investing further in product, design and technology, and building scalability in our credit decision engine to enable us to handle increasing demand more efficiently. A stable balance sheet will also enable us to look at any investment opportunities that might present themselves over time,” said Bigazzi.

Prospa named Bigazzi as an integral part in forming the startup’s fundraising strategy, which helped form the deal with PFG.

Bigazzi added that PFG’s ‘alternative’ funding strategy, in which the firm solely focuses on fast-growing tech companies, made them an ideal partner to looks towards.

“Like our small business customers, Prospa requires funding to grow. PFG plays an important role in the market by filling the gap left by the traditional banking industry,” he said.

“Like us, they take a partnership approach and really took the time to understand our business. They share many of our philosophies about how to build long-term competitive advantages and long-term stakeholder value.”

Launched in 2011, Prospa’s online platform allows small businesses to quickly access unsecured loans of up to $250,000, as the business aims to approve loans and provide funds within 24 hours.

The funding round marks one of the largest fintech VC investments into an Australian business, which is not a new title for Prospa – the startup’s $60 million Series B round, raised in 2015, holds the record for one of the largest investments in a local fintech to date.

Meanwhile, the $25 million Series C round from February marks the biggest investment in an Australian fintech made during the Q2 2016 to Q2 period, according to the recent Global Fintech Trends report from CB Insights.

The Series C round also came in second place for the highest investment in a fintech company outside of core markets such as the US, Europe and Asia.

Ahead of the funding news, Prospa also announced that it had named ‘Best Employer’ in the AON Hewitt Best Employers Program for 2017.

Speaking about the announcement, Prospa’s Joint CEO, Beau Bertoli, said much of the company’s success came down to its employees.

“People are, without a doubt, our number one priority and have been since we began five years ago. Our success is a clear demonstration of what can be achieved when your workforce is happy and engage,” said Bertoli.

Image: Beau Bertolli & Greg Mosohl. Source. Supplied.





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