DURHAM – LoanWell, a fintech startup that recently was selected for a new Google accelerator program, has $715,000 in new cash thanks to 11 investors.
According to a securities filing, LoanWell has raised $715,00 in a mix of debt and options.
In late July LoanWell received work that it had been selected for the Google for Startups Accelerator: Black Founders.
LoanWell, founded by Bernard Worthy, 32, is a cloud-based business-to-business platform that builds software for community lending institutions like CDFIs, credit unions and loan funds. Its mission: to enable efficient and easy access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
In 2018 LoanWell raised $200,000 in equity and debt.
It is one of 12 Black-led startups from around the country to be named to the three-month intensive program.
“Google for Startups has been coming to Durham to co-host the Black Founders Exchange (GFE) with American Underground for the last five years,” said Google’s head of Developer Ecosystems Jason Scott, in a statement.
“During that time, we’ve met some promising founders with innovative ideas. We’re truly excited to welcome Bernard Worthy and his startup, LoanWell, into the first cohort.”
Worthy, a GFE Black Founders graduate, knows firsthand how hard it is to get a loan with favorable terms.
A few years back, when he was looking into coding boot camp, he was forced to take out a high-interest rate loan to attend the program. Talking to his peers, they, too, had to piecemeal their financing.
That’s how he and cofounder Justin Straight hatched the idea for LoanWell.
“Our hypothesis is that people are doing this informal arrangement, back-of-the-napkin, handshake agreement, and you never really set the terms and expectations,” he has told WRAL TechWire. “What we’re trying to do is take this informal agreement and make it a more formal scenario, and by virtue of making it more formal, makes people step up a little bit.”