The digital revolution of the last thirty years has significantly changed the world of business financing. The emergence of financial technology (fintech) powered online lenders provides small business owners with an ever-growing pool of funding options.
While that helps provide businesses with funding options for every situation, navigating the available lenders can be tedious, time-consuming, and frustrating. Lending marketplaces and brokerages like UpCrunch seek to solve the problem by matching you with the lenders that best suit your funding needs.
However, the company might not be suitable for every small business. It doesn’t provide information on costs, and its bespoke funding options require a high-touch approach. Some business owners might prefer more upfront information in a self-service model.
We can help you determine if UpCrunch is a good match for your funding needs by covering the benefits, drawbacks, and application process. Specifically, we’ll answer these questions and more:
UpCrunch is a lending marketplace offering unique business bespoke lending. That’s a fancy way of saying the company provides highly customized personal service to help you find the funding that best meets your needs and qualifications.
The business lending firm advertises it attempts to remain several steps ahead of the funding game with outside-the-box funding strategies. Its marketing language describes itself as a sports agent where your business is the star athlete. Drawing comparisons to fictional sports agent Jerry Maguire or real-life sports agent Rich Paul, it states it’s always in your corner fighting for the best deals available.
It offers a diverse marketplace of products and large credit facilities, often able to offer up to $2 million (or more for SBA loans). Small business owners get a dedicated and highly motivated rep to help them find and select the most advantageous funding options.
UpCrunch launched in 2016 and is based in Los Angeles, CA.
Business owners can access several types of small business loans through the company’s lender network. Here are the available loans.
A business line of credit is a flexible lending structure where your funds are activated as an available credit limit instead of a one-time disbursement. Business owners can draw from the credit limit to cover expenses as needed.
You only pay interest on the funds you draw. The marketplace offers revolving lines of credit. That means your credit limit replenishes as you pay back at you owe, like a credit card.
Businesses can use the funds for most purposes, such as hiring staff, purchasing inventory, or covering cash flow gaps. Business lines of credit are excellent for ongoing projects, seasonal businesses, and meeting unexpected costs.
Lenders in the firm’s network can provide access to SBA loans, often considered the “gold standard” of small business finance. The US Small Business Administration (SBA) oversees the program and partially guarantees up to 85% of the loans.
A small business owner cannot apply directly to the SBA. Instead, they must apply to an approved lender or marketplace. However, the SBA limits what interest and fees lenders can charge, and the partial guarantee gives lenders the security to offer large borrowing amounts at lower interest rates and longer repayment terms.
UpCrunch’s lending partners offer SBA 7(a) loans, which are the program’s most common and versatile loan types. You can use the funds for working capital, equipment financing, purchasing commercial real estate, and more.
Revenue-based funding allows you to obtain working capital now using your future receivables. The products available include short-term loans and merchant cash advances.
Instead of traditional lending criteria like credit scores and time in business, revenue-based funding allows you to get the financing you need based on your company’s financial performance. In most cases, these funding structures are not loans in the traditional sense.
Instead, the funder you work with purchases a percentage of your future receivables at a discounted rate in exchange for an upfront lump sum of money. The funding structure can be expensive and potentially eat into your cash flow, but it’s one of the most accessible ways to get cash when your business needs it the most.
Equipment financing allows businesses to acquire needed equipment on credit. Examples include everything from computers and office furniture to farm equipment.
When you’re ready to finance a new piece of equipment, you’ll include the vendor invoice with your loan application. The lender UpCrunch places you with will pay the vendor directly, and the equipment gets installed at your location.
Your business can start using it right away as you make monthly payments to pay off the debt. The lender holds a lien on the equipment, which is also the collateral for the loan.
Once you pay off the loan, the lender releases the lien, and you own it outright.
Invoice factoring, also called accounts receivable factoring, allows businesses to convert unpaid invoices into immediate working capital. The process involves working with a third-party financial institution called a factoring company.
UpCrunch can help you find a factoring company where you’re most likely to qualify. Businesses that sell on credit and issue invoices sometimes run into a cash flow gap caused by delays between delivering goods or services and receiving payment.
With invoice factoring, you sell or “factor” the invoice to the factoring company. It issues a cash advance based on the invoice value. That percentage is called the advance rate, and UpCrunch’s factoring can provide advance rates of up to 90%.
After issuing the advance, the factoring company owns the invoice and collects payment from your customers. Once it receives payment, it releases the remaining amount minus its fee, called the factor rate or sometimes discount rate, since the company purchases the invoice at a discount.
The firm doesn’t publish any minimum qualifications for any of its products. This is likely due to two factors.
The company’s lending partners each have their own qualifications, so it would be challenging to list any set minimums. Secondly, UpCrunch takes an advocate approach to funding.
Describing itself as your business lending “SWAT team,” the firm fights on your behalf to get the best deals possible, even if you have a low credit score or a shorter time in business.
Here’s how UpCrunch puts it on its website:
“We ask the right questions, see plays long before they develop, and think five steps ahead. So, you can stay focused on what you do best – your business.”
The firm doesn’t publish any information on interest rates, factor rates, or fees. It also doesn’t provide any details on how to qualify.
The lack of information makes it impossible to know your likelihood of approval or how much you’ll pay if approved. You must apply to see if you’re qualified and what rates and fees you get offered.
Fortunately, the application process is simple, quick, and free. In addition, the company only performs a soft credit pull when you apply so that it won’t affect your credit score.
If you apply and get approved, carefully review the funding agreement before signing. You want to ensure you understand the repayment structure and that your business can afford repayment.
While the firm doesn’t publish cost information, most alternative lending sources are more expensive than traditional business financing. Several lending products likely use factor rates instead of a standard interest rate or APR.
The application process is quick and easy. Follow these steps to apply.
You can start the process by completing the online application form or calling the company directly. You’ll provide information about your business, yourself, and how much funding you’re seeking. Part of the application also involves uploading bank statements from the previous three months.
A representative from UpCrunch will contact you for a quick chat about your business. The call will also go over any additional documentation required. The representative will assess your funding situation so the company can tell lenders the full story of your business to help you access more favorable funding options.
The company will push for a fast turnaround on your behalf. Your representative will review your funding offers to help you select the best option for your business. Once it’s all said and done, you can receive your funds within 24 hours of approval, depending on the product.
The repayment process varies depending on the product you receive. SBA loans are fully amortized with fixed monthly payments for the loan term.
Equipment financing also carries monthly payments. In addition, you might be eligible for a Section 179 tax deduction for financed equipment. Check with your CPA for details.
Business lines of credit can have monthly or weekly payments. UpCrunch indicates there are no prepayment penalties for paying off lines of credit early.
Payments for revenue-based financing are daily, weekly, or bi-weekly. The payment usually comes directly from your sales revenue. The company also states that some concessions might be available, such as:
The lending marketplace helps small businesses quickly access capital to sustain operations or fuel growth. You can start the process with a quick application. Funding options require minimal documentation.
A dedicated UpCrunch representative connects with you to understand your business and funding needs. As part of a new breed of lending firms, the representative works on your behalf to obtain funding programs specifically tailored to your unique needs.
The company offers a diverse range of lending products with large borrowing amounts. Lines of credit have no prepayment penalties, and you might be eligible for early payment discounts with revenue-based funding programs.
The company also has very high customer ratings. Most reviews praise the hands-on service.
The most significant drawback is the lack of transparency regarding costs and qualifications. You have no way of knowing if you’re eligible before you apply. That means you’re essentially going in blind, waiting to find out.
It also makes it impossible to estimate costs before you apply. There’s no way to compare the lending firm to other alternative lending options.
Yes, UpCrunch is a legitimate online business lending marketplace. The company is Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited and has an A+ rating on the watchdog site.
The lending firm has a stellar online reputation. It has a 4.9 out of 5 rating on 100 Trustpilot reviews. We couldn’t find any negative reviews about the company online.
The reviews mainly discuss the ease of the process and the helpfulness of the customer service team. Most reviews mention the service representative by name when praising the company.
Several reviews also talk about the lenders where UpCrunch matched them. One customer said they were matched to reputable lenders, including alternative funders and traditional banks.
The firm doesn’t set minimum qualifications, and the team will do everything possible to find you funding. The company succeeds when it gets customers funded, so it’s highly motivated to find deals that work for you and efficiently close them. However, there’s no guarantee of approval since it depends on the lenders in the firm’s network.
If you were declined, the denial letter should explain why. You can also contact the company if you need more information, such as when you can apply again or what you can do to improve your application.
Fortunately, business owners have many options for alternative lenders and marketplaces. Most can provide access to revenue-based financing or invoice factoring.
You shouldn’t have trouble finding options for equipment financing or business lines of credit. Finding online lenders or lending facilitators that offer SBA loans is more difficult, but there are still plenty of sources available.
You might also be interested in one of the following small business loans:
UpCrunch is best suited for small business owners who need fast funding but want a guided approach to their options. You only complete one application, and it goes to multiple lenders where you might qualify. In addition, your representative works on your behalf to get the best funding offers from lenders.
Established businesses with excellent credit can likely find more advantageous business financing. In addition, if you prefer upfront cost and eligibility information to compare to other lenders, the marketplace won’t work for you.
Based on the available information, we rate UpCrunch at 4 out of 5. We are concerned with the marketplace’s lack of transparency on costs. But the diversity of the products, large borrowing amounts, and sterling customer reputation make it an attractive business funding platform.
Disclaimer: The UpCrunch trademark is owned by UpCrunch Inc., and its use herein is for reference purposes only, and it does not indicate sponsorship or endorsement from UpCrunch Inc.