SaaS Lenders for Small Business Startup Founders

In today’s fast-paced entrepreneurial ecosystem, access to capital remains a fundamental requirement for startup growth. For small business startup founders, the traditional lending route often poses many challenges, including rigid criteria, long processing times, and sometimes unaffordable interest rates.

Enter the world of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) lenders – a modern financing solution tailored to meet the unique needs of startups. In this Saas Lenders guide, we’ll explore the concept of SaaS lenders and why they’re a boon for small business startup founders, to help secure startup loans, either unsecured or with bad credit.

What exactly are SaaS Lenders?

SaaS lenders are online platforms that utilize software to facilitate the lending process. These platforms leverage advanced algorithms, data analytics, and machine learning to evaluate a startup’s creditworthiness and provide tailored financing solutions. Unlike traditional lenders, SaaS lenders often rely on non-traditional data sources like transactional data, online presence, customer reviews, and even social media activity to make lending decisions.

interest rate for saas lenders

5 Must-Read Benefits of SaaS Lenders for Small Business Startups:

  1. Faster Approval Times: SaaS lenders can process loan applications much faster than traditional banks, often delivering decisions within hours or days, instead of weeks.
  2. Flexibility: With a wide range of loan products tailored for startups, including short-term loans, merchant cash advances, and invoice financing, there’s likely a financing solution that fits the unique needs of every business.
  3. Data-driven Decision Making: By relying on a mix of traditional and non-traditional data, SaaS lenders can often provide a more holistic view of a startup’s financial health and potential.
  4. Streamlined Application Process: Forget about mountains of paperwork. SaaS lenders typically offer a user-friendly online application process, making it easier for founders to apply and track their loan status.
  5. Transparent Terms: Many SaaS lenders pride themselves on offering transparent terms with no hidden fees or charges, allowing founders to make informed decisions.

30 SaaS Lenders to Check Out, with Rates:

While there are many SaaS lending platforms available, here are a few that have garnered attention in the startup community:

1. Kabbage

  • Summary: Offers automated funding to SaaS small businesses and has a quick application process.
  • Loan Rates: Typically between 1.5% – 10% monthly fee.

2. OnDeck

  • Summary: Provides SaaS business loans and lines of credit.
  • Loan Rates: Annual interest rates starting at 11.89%.

3. BlueVine

  • Summary: Offers business lines of credit and invoice factoring.
  • Loan Rates: Starting from 4.8% for lines of credit; 0.25%-1.7% per week for invoice factoring.

4. Fundbox

  • Summary: Provides lines of credit based on invoice values.
  • Loan Rates: Starting at 4.66% of the draw amount for a 12-week repayment, and 8.99% for a 24-week repayment.

5. LendingClub

  • Summary: A peer-to-peer lending platform offering business loans and lines of credit.
  • Loan Rates: Annual interest rates range from 9.77% – 35.98%.

6. Fundera

  • Summary: An online marketplace connecting small businesses to potential lenders.
  • Loan Rates: Varies depending on the lender and loan product, starting from 7% annually.

7. Credibly

  • Summary: Offers SaaS business expansion loans, working capital loans, and merchant cash advances.
  • Loan Rates: Factor rates starting from 1.15.

8. QuickBooks Capital

  • Summary: Provides small business loans, leveraging QuickBooks data for evaluations.
  • Loan Rates: Typically 10% – 35% APR.

9. Lendio

  • Summary: An online service that helps businesses secure loans through its network of lenders.
  • Loan Rates: Varies depending on the loan product and lender, starting from 6% annually.

10. Square Capital

  • Summary: Offers business loans to sellers based on their transaction history with Square.
  • Loan Rates: Typically a flat fee added to the loan amount, starting at 10%.

11. Upstart

  • Summary: Uses non-traditional variables, like education and work experience, for SaaS loan decisions.
  • Loan Rates: APR ranges from 6.95% – 35.99%.

12. Reliant Funding

  • Summary: Provides merchant cash advances, short-term loans, and equipment financing.
  • Loan Rates: Varies, typically based on factor rates starting from 1.1.

13. Nav

  • Summary: A platform that connects SaaS businesses to a range of loan products and offers credit score insights.
  • Loan Rates: Varies depending on the loan product and lender.

14. Accion

  • Summary: A nonprofit microlender offering loans to underserved SaaS small businesses.
  • Loan Rates: APR ranges from 7% – 34%.

15. SmartBiz

  • Summary: Helps businesses secure SBA and bank loans.
  • Loan Rates: Starting from 4.75% – 7% for SBA loans.

16. Borrowell

  • Summary: Offers personal loans and provides free credit scores.
  • Loan Rates: APR ranges from 5.6% – 29.19%.

17. CAN Capital

  • Summary: Provides merchant cash advances and short-term SaaS loans.
  • Loan Rates: Factor rates starting from 1.15.

18. Celtic Bank

  • Summary: A leading SBA lender offering various business loan products.
  • Loan Rates: Varies depending on the loan product, starting from 4.75% for SBA loans.

19. StreetShares

  • Summary: Offers business term loans, lines of credit, and contract financing.
  • Loan Rates: Starting from 8% APR.

20. National Funding

  • Summary: Provides equipment financing, merchant cash advances, and working capital loans.
  • Loan Rates: Varies based on the product; typically factor rates for merchant cash advances starting from 1.1.

21. Prosper

  • Summary: A peer-to-peer lending platform catering to both individuals and SaaS businesses.
  • Loan Rates: APR ranges from 7.95% to 35.99%.

22. CircleUp

  • Summary: Focuses on consumer brands, offering term loans and lines of credit.
  • Loan Rates: Varies based on the company and its financials, generally competitive in the market.

23. Bond Street

  • Summary: Provides medium-term loans to SaaS small businesses.
  • Loan Rates: APR ranges from 8% to 25%.

24. Dealstruck

  • Summary: Offers multiple loan products including term loans and lines of credit.
  • Loan Rates: Varies, but APR generally starts from around 10%.

25. LendUp

  • Summary: Focuses on personal loans to help borrowers build credit.
  • Loan Rates: APR can range widely, from 30% to a potential 900% for short-term loans.

26. Endeavor America Loan Services

  • Summary: Primarily a mortgage lender that’s expanded its services to cater to businesses.
  • Loan Rates: Varies depending on the loan product and borrower’s financial situation.

27. Kiva

  • Summary: A nonprofit that allows individuals to lend money to low-income entrepreneurs and students around the world.
  • Loan Rates: 0% interest rate. The emphasis is on crowdfunding microloans.

28. Fundation

  • Summary: Focuses on direct business loans and lines of credit.
  • Loan Rates: APR starts at around 8%.

29. Able Lending

  • Summary: Emphasizes collaborative lending where SaaS businesses get backers to fund a portion of the loan to reduce interest rates.
  • Loan Rates: Varies based on the amount backed by friends and family but generally competitive.

30. Credibility Capital

  • Summary: Offers term loans to established small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Loan Rates: APR ranges from 10% to 25%.

Note: As always, it’s essential to verify the current loan rates and terms from the lender’s official sources or representatives. Rates can fluctuate based on various factors, including market conditions and the applicant’s creditworthiness.

3 Essentials for Founders When Considering SaaS Lenders:

While SaaS lenders offer many advantages, it’s essential for founders to:

  1. Understand the Terms: Like any financial product, always read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions, including interest rates, fees, and repayment schedules.
  2. Compare Options: Not all SaaS lenders are created equal. It’s wise to compare multiple platforms to find the best fit for your startup’s needs.
  3. Evaluate Long-Term Impact: While immediate access to capital can be enticing, founders should consider the long-term implications of taking on debt and ensure it aligns with their business strategy.

Here are 3 statistics related to SaaS lenders:

  1. The average number of SaaS applications used by organizations has increased year-over-year from an average of 8 apps in 2015 to 12 apps in 2016, and 16 SaaS apps in 2017. Last year, the average number of SaaS apps used per organization stood at 80.
  2. The SaaS industry is worth more than $195 billion, and it’s estimated that by 2025, 85% of business apps will be SaaS-based. The US, UK, Canada, and Germany have the most SaaS companies in the world, respectively. But the US leads with a huge margin, with more than 8x the number of SaaS businesses compared to the runner up, the UK. There are approximately 30,000 SaaS companies worldwide in 2023. Almost 15,000 of those are in the marketing sector.
  3. The global SaaS market spend is projected to be $240.61 billion in value in 2022, and 99% of businesses use at least one SaaS application. The top 3 industries for SaaS companies are information technology and services, analytics, and financial services.