WILMINGTON – Approve, a fintech startup, is fueling up its growth plans with $3 million in new funding. And the Wilmington-based company says it will more than double its headcount and is looking for headquarters space.

Cofounders Capital led the funding round.

“We have known Robert [Preville] and the team at Approve for a number of years and have been impressed, not just by the business they have built, but also the tremendous team and culture,” said Tobi Walter, a partner with Cofounders Capital. “We are incredibly excited to make our second Wilmington-based investment and to work with the team on a desperately needed solution in the B2B equipment finance market.”

Approve image

Also investing with previous backs VentureSouth and Live Oak Ventures.

“We are very excited about our new partnership with Cofounders Capital and the expanded investment from Live Oak and VentureSouth,” said Approve CEO Robert Preville. “Investments from reputable firms such as these bring experience, talent and big ideas to Wilmington, NC and challenge the expectation that innovation can only be fostered in larger cities or tech centers.”

The company currently has 17 employees, according to its LinkedIn site, but that number has recently grown to 20.

Open jobs include: account executives, finance operations coordinators, a digital marketing manager as well as multiple

Approve launched just over a year ago, saying it removes “the pain points from the process of financing equipment has made the company a recognized disruptor in the equipment finance industry.” Preville says the company is pursuing  a goal of making financing equipment “as easy as using a credit card.”

The company says it is adding some 40 equipment distributors a month as new customers. Growth is 97% year-over-year, Approve notes.

“VentureSouth members have enjoyed watching Approve’s consistent growth since we first invested in the company, and we are excited to have the chance to continue supporting the company in this next phase of expansion,” said Paul Clark, a partner at VentureSouth.

Added Live Oak’s Chief Strategy Officer Stephanie Mann:  “When we made our first investment in Kwipped in 2019, we believed the company had immense potential to provide solutions at scale, and here we are a few years later
with an exciting expansion as the Approve platform has grown out of Kwipped’s model. We see significant value in investing in companies that support small business growth, and as a fellow Wilmington business, are delighted to invest in next-generation platforms and exceptional leadership teams that contribute to our local fintech ecosystem.”