On Tuesday, online small business lender Funding Circle launched a partnership with DreamSpring, to increase access to funding for SMBs in underserved communities nationwide. DreamSpring is a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) coming up on 30 years of experience in community lending.
According to a release, the firm will integrate with Funding Circle’s lending-as-a-service program, expanding distribution to originate more loans faster and at a lower cost. Angus Sanders, Chief Revenue Officer of Funding Circle US, said the partnership demonstrated the alignment of the firms’ shared commitment to advancing entrepreneurship through equitable access to small business capital.
“We are excited to offer financial institutions our customizable end-to-end lending platform and technology that we have spent the last 12 years developing,” Sanders said. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact our partnership with DreamSpring has on communities across the country, especially those underserved.”
DreamSpring small business customers who apply through the co-branded application portal will receive one-on-one support from a Funding Circle Account Manager and an approval decision and access to funds in 48 hours, the firm said.
Together providing flexibility and resources.
Francisco Lopez, Chief Operations and Innovations Officer at DreamSpring, said they could provide the flexibility and resources SMBs need.
“At DreamSpring, we lend at the intersection of mission, technology, and heart. Our relationship with Funding Circle will be transformational—empowering entrepreneurs to rapidly access funding necessary for job creation and small business growth,” Lopez said.
Funding Circle said it is committed to helping SMBs get the funding they need to thrive by working closely with financial institutions. They pointed to the recent partnership launching SMB lending-as-a-service with Pitney Bowes.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve found in a 2022 study that Funding Circle has been able to expand credit access to underserved small business owners who are not likely to receive funding from traditional lenders at a lower cost to borrowers.
Since launching in 2010, Funding Circle said participating investors and lenders across the firm’s geographies – including banks, specialty finance companies, asset management companies, insurance companies, government-backed entities, and funds – have provided approximately $18 billion to over 120,000 businesses globally.
DreamSpring described itself as a nonprofit community lender dedicated to eliminating systemic wealth inequities and accelerating underserved communities’ economic inclusion and strength.
Founded in 1994, the firm grew to operate in 19 states and said it provides rapid access to capital and customized support. DreamSpring reported that it had issued more than 42,000 loans totaling over $465 million to small businesses that support an estimated 72,000 jobs.
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