‘Alternative VC’ firm Lighter Capital eyes growth with new $100M ‘lending vehicle’

Lighter Capital is gearing up for more growth thanks to a deal that gives the firm access to an additional $100 million.

The Seattle-based company is among a crop of “alternative VC” groups that enable entrepreneurs to raise funding without going the traditional route of venture capital.

Lighter Capital inked a $100 million deal with digital finance firm HCG Fund Management for what CEO Thor Culverhouse described as a “lending vehicle.”

“This gives us significantly more capacity to deploy to additional borrowers as we expand our organization and build new products,” he said.

Since launching a decade ago, Lighter Capital has invested more than $200 million in 350-plus companies across the U.S., using an innovative process known as “revenue based financing” (RBF) that lets early-stage startups raise cash without giving up equity or board seats.

Startups agree to share a percentage of future revenue with Lighter Capital; loan payments are tied to monthly revenue. The firm uses proprietary technology to guide investments in the $50,000 to $3 million range.

Last year it partnered with Silicon Valley Bank to give entrepreneurs a way to raise non-dilutive capital and get banking services, and rolled out new financing options this past June including a revolving working capital line and a term loan offering.

Culverhouse said Lighter has plans to grow its geographical presence into international markets and explore other forms of debt it can provide to companies.

The CEO said the firm is also planning to raise an equity round later this year to help fund operations. It employs about 80 people and has raised $20 million in equity to date.

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Culverhouse replaced B.J. Lackland as CEO this past September. He’s a serial entrepreneur with experience at companies ranging from IBM and HP, to small startups such as Skytap, the Seattle cloud services provider he most recently led as CEO before stepping down last year.

Lighter also announced today that Joe Silver as its new chief financial officer. Silver joined the firm in 2015.

Source: Geek Wire

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