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NAB and Lighter Capital give Aussie startups more funding options

By Edil Corneille

November 13, 2020

  • Australia
  • Nab
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NAB, National Australia BankNational Australia Bank (NAB) announced its collaboration with Lighter Capital, a FinTech lender that supports early-stage tech-enabled startups with funding opportunities, to help their business get off the ground.

Following last year’s commitment of $2 billion to help fund emerging technology companies, this collaboration allows tech start-ups to gain access to Lighter Capital’s financing solutions. This includes options such as revenue-based financing, term loans and lines of credit.

NAB’s Executive for Small Business, Ana Marinkovic said: “Now more than ever, it’s critical to back Australian small businesses – not only do they bring innovation and competition to our marketplace, they are the backbone of our economy.

“With small businesses citing access to finance as one of their major barriers to growth*, today’s announcement is great news for digital entrepreneurs with vision and a determination to maintain control of their venture. Lighter Capital is a unique offering that provides entrepreneurs the opportunity to keep their equity, board seats and vision intact.”

Businesses will also be provided with a dedicated NAB small business specialist ensuring support from the beginning of the journey, assigned to the account to provide expertise and growth opportunities.

Lighter Capital provides founders tranches of up to $1 million of non-dilutive growth capital in a fraction of the time it takes to raise from traditional sources, with an average loan size of $300,000. Rather than take equity, Lighter Capital takes a percentage of monthly revenues over the life of the loan and adjusts monthly payments based on the ups and downs of a company’s performance.

“Australia represents an exciting market opportunity for us,” Melissa Widner, CEO, Lighter Capital said.

“We believe that our services, combined with those of NAB, will provide start-up founders with a powerful range of debt capital offerings. As we have seen in the U.S. and in Canada, founders are discovering that they don’t have to give up equity to fuel the long-term growth of their companies and that there are financing options that better compliment their exit strategies.”

Ian Gardiner, a partner at Sydney’s Jelix Ventures and co-founder of Innovation Bay, an Australian networking and angel investment group for start-ups, has been working with Lighter Capital to broker introductions to start-up founders.

“There is myriad of founders here who either aren’t ready yet for VC money or would simply prefer to build their companies with debt capital,” Gardiner said.

“Lighter Capital will really help to fill a void in the Australian start-up ecosystem.”

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