GroupMe Co-Founder’s Next Act: Small-Business Lending

Fundera launches today as an online marketplace to connect small businesses and lenders.

It’s quite a topic pivot for GroupMe co-founder Jared Hecht, who was last seen at Skype after selling his group messaging app¬†for about $85 million.

Hecht said he was prompted to co-found Fundera after learning of his cousin’s trouble getting a loan to expand his small chain of quick sushi restaurants, Fusian, in Ohio.

Fundera has raised $3.4 million from Khosla Ventures, First Round Capital, Lerer Ventures, SV Angel and angel investors Strauss Zelnick, Rob Wiesenthal, David Rosenblatt and David Tisch.

The company takes its payment in the form of a one percent to three percent origination fee and says its marketplace is best fit for “businesses that are at least nine months old across a large variety of industries such as restaurants, auto-body shops, spas, salons, dental and medical practices, retail stores or boutiques.”

As compared with some other online lending platforms like the peer-to-peer site Lending Club, Fundera is a bit more hands-off. Once they’re matched up, Fundera lenders do their own underwriting and manage payments themselves.