Today, Able launches nationwide.
In our pilot phase, we funded collaborative loans within the city of Austin - a community of 38,000 small businesses. Today, we are ready to fund businesses not just in the state of Texas, but across the country, making connected capital available to over 5,000,000 small businesses.
At milestones like these, we always pause and reflect -- how did we get here, and what have we learned? We just raised $6,000,000 to further our mission, and we want to understand why people are supporting us wholeheartedly. We’ve learned it’s not just because we are offering an entirely new kind of loan; it’s because we’re offering more than a loan.
From Day One we set out to provide entrepreneurs with more than access to capital. Every time we take a step in that direction, we find more traction. Every time we give, we gain.
What does that mean?
The more we tune into what our borrowers need, the more we get to experience success like theirs. Literally.
This week, Josh Hare, the owner of an Able-funded business, Hops & Grain, came by our offices. As he walked in, he said, “You’re growing,” and nodded knowingly. “Well, this is what it feels like.”And he’s right. We are privileged to be experiencing the same growth moment that these entrepreneurs do when they put their Able loans to work.
Like them, we’ve put our value proposition and our hard work out into the world. We’ve built a community. We’ve gained meaningful traction. We’ve harnessed new capital. And now, like the small businesses we fund, we’re ready to grow.
We’re creating and giving them new ways to tell their remarkable stories - and we are trumpeting those stories to the world. The response? They’re sharing this content everywhere we look. Honestly, we weren’t sure whether they would. You don’t exactly see borrowers from commercial banks or alternative lenders blowing up their social media channels by proudly shouting about their debt from the tree tops. We’ve built a loan that our borrowers are proud of as seen by Kammok’s Instagram post and Hops & Grain’s Facebook video — and we are, too.
Our equity raise, led by Chris Gottschalk of Blumberg Capital and Adam Boyden of RPM Ventures, allows us to build out our dream team and expand our operations. Driven by this infusion of $6,000,000 - which feels like six million votes of confidence from our supporters - we’re taking our next big step.
How do we feel about this?
Grateful. Because really, it’s you who have launched us.
Like the small businesses funded by an Able loan, we have more than just capital at our backs: we have the support to make the most of it. Not just from our investors, but also our Backers and those of you who are making the connections and introductions on the ground that now comprise what is the Able Network.
In our offices, we call you the Champions of Small Business. We love that you value the personal touch of the small business owner: not one hundred lamps - the right lamp. We love how you support the local and beloved small businesses that employ more than half of our country’s workforce.
Sometimes you act through your wallet by choosing your local coffee shop over Starbucks. But, when you see that the coffee shop needs a boost of capital, you’ve done something else entirely:
You’ve connected the owner with a new kind of loan. One that lets supporters play a part in the growth. One that lets the owner's friends and family get involved in a transparent, positive way. One that gives the business better rates than alternative lenders. One that makes the community greater. And one that gets even better because of your referral -- they get $500 off their first loan payment and you get $500 to spend at their shop.
Because of you, together, we’re creating the change that we want to see. And that’s not just something we’re saying. It’s what our Borrowers are saying.
When you build something right, it takes on a life of its own. We are carried into this national launch by our Borrowers, by their Backers, and especially by you, our Champions, who are referring businesses to us every day.
We’re ready to feel what the small business owner feels when they put new capital to work, present a new version of themselves to the world, and proudly say “we’re open for business.”