Small Business is in the DNA with Cetin Duransoy, Chief Operating Officer at Fundbox
How digitization, data science, and AI are being used to identify and provide services to small businesses exactly when they need them.
It’s easy to imagine politicians and traditional lenders as old school Chatty Kathy dolls… you pull the string and utterances about the importance of small business come out of their mouths. You might hear: Small businesses are the foundation of this country, or small businesses are America’s engine.
There’s a reason that politicians, and lenders like banks, at least pay lip service to the importance of small businesses. It’s because there are 31.7 million small businesses in the United States and they comprise 97.5 percent of exporters. Small businesses are America’s economic engine — that’s a fact. But, historically, they have had difficulty securing money from lenders. Oftentimes, they aren’t really acknowledged at all by the big banks and if they are, they are treated as economic tools for growth rather than as equals.
But what if a fintech company came along that respected small businesses as partners; that quickly and accurately measured them for their true value, and then worked to efficiently provide them the resources they needed, even before they actually needed it?
That is what Fundbox, a fintech company that serves almost 300,000 clients, does. Cetin Duransoy, the Chief Operating Officer at Fundbox, says the company uses the power of digitization, data science, and A.I. to form relationships with small businesses and ensures that they have the loans and lines of credit they require to operate successfully.
“It is in our DNA,” Duransoy ay. “But, why is it in our DNA? We recently did that survey with our whole employee base. What connections do you have to a small business, whether you run it, or an immediate family member does it? It turns out two thirds of our employees are either already running a business or they have immediate family who runs a small business.”
Small businesses are an important part of the US economy — 50% of Americans work in or own a small business. Yet, when it comes to loans, the process is onerous and drawn out.
“If you want to be underwritten by a bank, you need to show three years of income statement, like IRS approved income statements, tax submissions, and last two years becoming profitable,” Duransoy says. “So, there’s a massive underserved market here. Small business in the lending space, specifically, the underwriting is done by paper by people, requires time. It’s a long process.”
This underserved market does not have the time or funds to wait for a big bank to recognize that they are useful, but many are making real-time, impactful waves in their communities. For example, Ponce de Leon Music Center is a store that helps bring music to the greater Atlanta metro area and by partnering with Fundbox, Ponce de Leon Music was able to make sure that the music never stopped.
But how does Fundbox really connect to its customers and provide them the exact services they require?
To find out how Fundbox builds partnerships, ensures that their customers stick with them and rises above seeing customers as tools, or a means to an end, but becomes a perpetual tool in the hands of their customers, tune into Business X factors.
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