ZingBoard founder Jim Blitch quickly exhausted his personal savings and investments from friends and family in building an online community for parents and teachers to connect around their children’s shared experiences. Yet he still needed another $5,000 to finish the coding on the platform and launch the company. Blitch had a long relationship with his bank but knew he didn’t have the collateral in place to secure a loan. Instead, he approached Rebirth Financial.
In 2 hours he was able to upload his profile on their site, he secured a loan within 24 hours, and had money in his bank accountwithin 7 days.“The great thing about working with Rebirth Financial is that they are really committed to helping local businesses thrive and grow,” stated Blitch. “Whenever I had a question about anything, they were simply a phone call away. They really helped me when I needed it.”Developing upon the principles of micro-lending, Rebirth Financial has created an online financial platform that connects small business with banks, credit unions, and individual investors.
Rebirth operates in the online social lending industry like Prosper, Lending Club, and Kiva. However, unlike other lending institutions that value a company based on the owner’s personal credit score, Rebirth utilizes their own proprietary JASrating system, which assesses the value of the small business much like the way Moody’s and the S&P rate publicly traded companies – allowing lenders to invest based on the value of the company.
Rebirth also give the small business a chance to tell their story. Once the loan has been approved, it’s posted on the site coupling the narrative about why the company is seeking funding with financial projections and a business plan. This way, investors get a clear picture of what the company wants to do and how their investment will have an impact. “At the end of the day, people invest in people,” Rebirth Financial co-founder Chonchol Gupta remarks. “When you share your story with your community, people will get it and be compelled to invest.”
With no restriction on industry or loan amount, Gupta encourages all small business owners to try them out. He points out that often times they are able to get the borrower a loan 2-3% lower than their bank. Rebirth’s model forces lenders to compete for a chance to invest, often securing some of the best terms for their borrowers.