Small businesses account for over 95% of Australian businesses, yet they consistently find it difficult to access finance. The round signifies the value of investing in startups that support and nurture these businesses, which ultimately make a significant contribution to the Australian economy and play a huge role in the social fabric of our local communities.
In a report produced by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman in February 2018, Valiant was credited with pioneering the development of an industry charter. The ASBFEO further developed the charter, with a view to developing an industry code. Read more.
Valiant remains committed to increasing transparency in the small business finance space, with the Series A round marking an exciting opportunity for the team to grow and scale their impact on small business’ access to finance.
Valiant has developed a smart algorithm that matches business owners to financial products that are tailored to their needs. The fintech startup was built on the foundational value of providing exceptional customer service. The online experience is accompanied by an in-house team of lending specialists who are available to provide support throughout the research, application and settlement process.
Valiant isn't beholden to a single lender or bank. Valiant has sourced funding for small businesses across a range of industries, including agriculture, commercial, transport, construction, entertainment, media, retail and hospitality. To date, Valiant has settled loans with 46 lenders.
Valiant was cofounded by Alex Molloy and Richard (Ritchie) Cotton in 2015, and joined the H2 Ventures portfolio. In November 2015, Valiant's loan-matching technology became publicly available to small business owners. In April 2016, the product-agnostic commercial lending tool became available to brokers and advisors.
In June 2016, the founders closed their seed round at $800,000. Since then, the business has grown to over 20 people with diverse skill sets, including product experts, account managers, business development managers and engineers.
A number of exciting features have been added to the platform, as the startup continues to grow and evolve in a market that is ripe for disruption. Exceptional user experience is at the heart of the Valiant platform, with key features including end-to-end paperless application process and automated cash-flow analysis.
Valiant will use the funds to continue to grow the team and develop strong partnerships across the industry, as well as scaling the platform.
Carthona Capital is a leading seed and early-stage VC and was cornerstone investor in Credible, an online marketplace that brought home the biggest tech IPO on the ASX in 2017.
“We are really excited about Valiant’s ability to give SMEs the transparency and availability of loans that has been seriously lacking in the market. Businesses have often been ignored by their bank or been told that remortgaging or a personal guarantee are the only options.
“Valiant is leading a revolution in business lending where entrepreneurs can access necessary finance in a simple, clear and quick manner and, really importantly, compare their options; rates and terms are highly variable across the industry and Valiant enables someone to very easily see what the best option for their circumstances is.
“We’ve seen how successful a fintech marketplace can be through our investment in Credible (which was recently listed on the ASX) and we see Alex and Ritchie on a similar trajectory, building a highly successful business that is incredibly useful to their customers,” says Dean Dorrell, Principle & Partner, Carthona Capital.
Full Circle Venture Capital is focused on providing Series A funding to high-growth tech startups. Headed by Rowan Grant and Daniel Gavel, the firm has also invested in Sendle and GO1, and is heavily involved in the Australian startup scene.
“Valiant was a perfect fit for our theme of companies tackling fragmented markets that are known for poor customer experiences, and using technology to meaningfully improve that outcome,” said Rowan Grant, General Partner, Full Circle Venture Capital.
As an ex financial planner, Daniel Gavel - also Director, Black Sheep Capital - knows all too well the complexities around helping SMBs find suitable financing products to sit alongside complex strategies.
“Black Sheep is very excited to be backing Valiant Finance, a company Dan himself believes has both the technical capability and founding expertise to drive significant changes in the way brokers/advisers improve their customer relationships and their ability to strategically assist them with regards to obtaining SMB lending,” the firm said.
Westpac’s venture capital arm, Reinventure, has followed up their investment in Valiant’s seed round.
“Valiant grabbed our attention when we first invested with one of the cleanest product experiences we’d seen in financial services. Since then, the company has matured and grown rapidly building a strong partnership with the Westpac Group across multiple brands as well as powering some of the largest broker groups in market to enable them to provide tailored business lending options to their clients,” said Simon Cant, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Reinventure.
About the Valiant platform
Valiant Finance helps Australian business owners find the best loan for their business. Using our market-leading proprietary technology, business owners can explore their financing options online and be supported by our product-agnostic advisory. The platform offers a seamless customer experience, exceptional service, and the ability to submit a single digital application regardless of the lender. Valiant works with over 70 lenders to ensure Australian small business owners are finding finance that supports the growth of their business and saves them valuable time.
Products available through the Valiant Finance platform include:
- Unsecured business loans;
- Secured term loans;
- Line of credit;
- Equipment finance;
- Debtor financing;
- Merchant cash advances; and
- Business credit cards.
Alex Molloy Cofounder & CEO
Ritchie Cotton Cofounder & Head of Product
Nathalie Jones Communications Manager [email protected] 0448 488 123
Nathalie is the Communications Manager at Valiant Finance. She has a double degree in Journalism and Law, and a background in the fintech space, hailing from Asia's largest fintech hub, Stone & Chalk.