After Selling His First Company For $80 Million, Hecht Now Raised $11 Million For New Startup
Jared Hecht, one of the founding members of GroupMe, a text messaging app designed to simplify group communication needs, had sold this very first startup company for $80 million only after 370 days of its launch. The messaging app was taken over by Skype in the year 2010.
The founding partners Hecht and Stever Martocci left from Skype in the very same year, 2010. The two of them then started working on new startups independently and even if they are not partners anymore but they do old equity shares in each other’s startups.
After his exit from Skype, Hecht started working on a new startup and launched his new venture in the early months of 2014. He named his new startup company Fundera, the app helps other small business founders to materialize their business ideas through matching them with potential lenders, who are willing to fund such small businesses. Past Thursday, Fundera proclaimed that it had raised $11.5 million, in its second round of Series B funding collectively from Susquehanna Growth Equity, Khosla Ventures, QED investors and lastly First Round Capital.
Fundera is a one-stop destination that assists small businesses to avail seed money and that too from non-bank lenders against the existing option of bank loans. The idea for the inception of Fundera came to Hecht as he observed a member of his family tussle to get his loan approved from a bank. But in order to make his venture successful Hecht’s team had to incorporate some major and important alterations straight away after the launch of Fundera.
When Fundera was launched back in February 2014, it “launched with the wrong product”, said Hecht in an interview. The website of Fundera offered owners of businesses a service similar to the one offered by Kayak, only the point of focus was business loans – one would be displayed some of the possible potential lender matches, then after a click of a button he would be moved to a third-party website for checkout.
The business owners who came to Fundera were not in the favor of this, and Hecht along with his team quickly reconfigured the website’s configuration.
“We just launched with a customer experience that we quickly learned was lacking”, said Hecht. “And we learned that by speaking with all of our customers”.
Within the time frame of three months, Hecht’s team re-launched their website with completely new and revamped product.
As per the new environment of the website the potential loan, aspirants fill up an upfront application, see their potential matches, then select either one or sometimes a couple of more prospective, and then they finally submit responses to the query of lender which are prerequisite to receiving an offer straight away through Fundera. Once Fundera receives all the information supplemented by proper documentation, the website puts forth the proposal for a loan on behalf of the business owners.
In this new ecosystem of the website the users never leave or navigate away from Fundera’s platform, and in addition to this, they receive all the possible help from Fundera’s team in order to complete the procedure whenever they need it. According to Hecht the associates of Fundera’s “customer success team” assume the role of educators, providing the business owners with detailed insights and inputs in order to enable them to make an informed, responsible and best decision regarding which loan product to choose from.
Since its launch, Fundera has managed to secure in excess of $60 million in credit to help 1,200 small business proprietors. The company has projected to raise $100 million as loan money in the year 2015.