Andy Sack on Lighter Capital: Expanding Beyond RevenueLoan to Finance More “Weird Stuff that Makes Money”
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high-end goat’s milk ice cream has been featured in Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine. “They do a million dollars worth of sales in Whole Foods,” Sack says. “They’re the highest-priced half-pint of ice cream in Whole Foods, which is an accomplishment.”
These all fit the slice of growing businesses that Lighter Capital is aiming to serve: Typically too small-bore for VCs, and potentially underserved by traditional banks that make their living on run-of-the-mill retail businesses. “Basically, we fund weird stuff that makes money, that the people can’t get access to growth capital really from any other source. And we think if there’s a good business case and growth, we’ll fund it,” Sack says.
Coming next for Lighter Capital is an online communication platform that Sack says will let entrepreneurs apply for funding quickly and easily, as opposed to making a boardroom pitch or sitting down with a banker.
“You can basically apply in your underwear and get 500,000 bucks. We think that’s pretty fucking cool,” he says. “Why do you have to get dressed up in a suit and tie, to go meet someone else in a suit and tie, just to be told no? We don’t think you have to do that.”
Lighter Capital also plans to harness the growing use of social networking services, and the data they provide, to help make investment decisions. “What does that information allow us to garner about your creditworthiness? We don’t have a fully baked solution on that, but we’re working on it,” Sack says.
After that, Lighter Capital may offer some different investment services that make sense alongside the RevenueLoan product, which is the mainstay for now. Sack wouldn’t say if he has any specific ideas in mind, but he says there’s plenty of material to mine by working with entrepreneurs frustrated by the current system.
“It takes too long—that’s the thing we hear the most. They don’t like that it’s kind of a beauty contest. They don’t like that they have to give up a lot of control—control is a big area. And then, of course, cost,” Sack says. “I think we’re addressing most of those pieces.”