In an industry that too often pits banks against fintechs, it’s good to see the magic of fintech-bank partnerships alive and well. Living that magic is military veteran-focused small business lending platform StreetShares, which is piloting a collaboration with a similarly-focused financial institution, USAA.
Though the pilot is limited to six months, this is a pretty big deal for StreetShares. The four-year-old Virginia-based startup now has access to USAA’s member base of more than 8 million current and former members of the military and their families. Moreover, this is USAA’s first and so far only offering for business loans, a much-requested service.
“Members have been inquiring about business loans and business products from USAA for quite some time,” USAA’s Briana Hartzell explained in the bank’s blog. “So, to better serve member’s needs, USAA is pleased to announce the launch of a limited time pilot offering in collaboration with StreetShares Inc, a veteran-founded, run, and financed company.”
The pilot is open to creditworthy member-owned small businesses that have been in operation for at least one year and have at least $25,000 in annual revenue. Borrowers will have access to StreetShares’ Patriot Express Line of Credit and Term Loan of up to $250,000 with clear, transparent terms.
At FinovateEurope 2015, StreetShares CEO and Co-founder Mark Rockefeller and COO and Co-founder Mickey Konson showcased the StreetShares platform. The company began leveraging Title IV (Regulation A+) of the JOBS act in 2017 to allow unaccredited investors to lend to small businesses. It is now one of only a handful of P2P lending platforms open to unaccredited investors. The company started the year by landing $26 million in funding and earlier this fall relocated to a larger office to accommodate growth. StreetShares now has 47 employees, including 10 veterans.