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LendVantage's Plan To Rule The $100 Billion Small Business Loan Market

LendVantage's Plan To Rule The $100 Billion Small Business Loan Market

LendVantage, a startup that connects small business owners with potential lenders, wants to cash in on a massive (and often ignored) market.

"Small business owners have essentially been abandoned by traditional banks in America," Charles Benard, co-founder and managing partner of LendVantage, told Benzinga.

"Dozens and dozens of small finance companies, which aren't so small anymore, have entered into that category since 2007. These companies typically are providing term loans and merchant cash advances, typically in the $25,000 to $35,000 range."

Citing statistics from Oliver Wyman, a management consulting firm and business unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (NYSE: MMC), Benard said that there is "$80-$120 billion in unmet demand for small business lines of credit." He also noted a report by the FDIC that said there is $178 billion in loan balances under $250,000.

"The purpose of LendVantage is simply to simplify and create a marketplace for small business owners to attain capital quickly," said Benard. "We have essentially built out a platform with several, probably two dozen, large and small specialty finance companies that are essentially in a position where they can fund small businesses literally within days."

Related Link: Michigan Startup Raises $10 Million To Revolutionize A Multi-Billion-Dollar Industry

Getting Started

Benard took a moment to explain how the process works.

"[When] the merchant comes to, they essentially provide us with 27 different fields in the application that gives us info about their business," said Benard. "Within minutes they will receive a pre-approval up to $250,000 from one of our lenders on the platform."

If a company's application fits within a lender's business rules (such as the minimum monthly revenue), the lender will "deliver back on our platform a pre-approval within a matter of minutes."

Larry King & Shark Tank

LendVantage is a newer company, but it already has a big name attached as its brand ambassador: Larry King.

"Larry is very interesting," said Benard. "Larry is very entrepreneurial. Yes, we did use capital that we raised to retain Larry. He was personally excited about what we were doing. That's why he got involved with us. He believes in us [and] wants to be a part of it."

The company is also a presenting sponsor of Shark Tank on CNBC.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.


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