Small business funding startup Kickfurther raises $5.9M in seed round

BOULDER — Kickfurther Inc. raised $5.9 million in its seed round this week to fund its plans for a major marketing push behind its small and medium-sized business funding platform.

The Boulder company said the round was led by Grand Oaks Capital, a New York-based venture firm, and included a repeat investment from Bill Tai, the first seed investor in Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NYSE: ZM).

Kickfurther allows retailers to sell a portion of their goods to a “co-op” of buyers on the platform for up-front access to cash. Those products are then placed on consignment on behalf of the group of funders, who then get their money back and a portion of the sale profit after the products sell.

If a company fails to sell the products or goes under after getting funding, users have the option of taking delivery of the items they own or using a liquidation service to recover some of their investment.

In an interview, CEO Sean De Clercq said about 60% of the funds from the round are dedicated to a marketing and advertising campaign focused on direct mail, digital marketing and podcast sponsorships. The rest is earmarked for improving the back-end of the company’s software to partially automate the vetting process used to determine whether a retailer can participate on Kickfurther.

The service is primarily focused toward retailers, who are often beholden to the cyclical nature of a slow first through third quarter before the holiday season unleashes a wave of sales. De Clercq believes that leveraging the value of inventory in a warehouse is a good way for retailers to get operating capital if they struggle to get lines of credit from banks or can’t make it on U.S. Small Business Association loans.

“Most of the businesses we work with today, many of them have bank loans, they have SBA loans, and they have lines of credit,” he said. “What we see with a lot of these businesses is they have an SBA loan, and that SBA loan is just not enough to provide the amount of funding they need to meet the demand they have during the holiday season, or whatever their peak selling seasons are.”

At the moment, De Clercq estimates the company can foreseeably grow revenues at a 25% to 40% rate annually, but he expects at least a doubling in annual growth with the new investment. 

The company has not sent a funding disclosure to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as of Wednesday afternoon. De Clercq said the round did carry a valuation of the company, but declined to specify further.

© 2021 BizWest Media LLC

Editor’s note: this story previously incorrectly spelled De Clercq’s name as De Clerque.

BOULDER — Kickfurther Inc. raised $5.9 million in its seed round this week to fund its plans for a major marketing push behind its small and medium-sized business funding platform.

The Boulder company said the round was led by Grand Oaks Capital, a New York-based venture firm, and included a repeat investment from Bill Tai, the first seed investor in Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NYSE: ZM).

Kickfurther allows retailers to sell a portion of their goods to a “co-op” of buyers on the platform for up-front access to cash. Those products are then placed on consignment on behalf of the group of funders, who then get their money back and a portion of the sale profit after the products sell.

If a company fails to sell the products or goes under after getting funding, users have the option of taking delivery of the items they own or using a liquidation service to recover some of their investment.

In an interview, CEO Sean De Clercq said about 60% of the funds from the round are dedicated to a marketing and advertising campaign focused on direct mail, digital marketing and podcast sponsorships. The rest is earmarked for improving the back-end of the company’s software to partially automate the vetting process used to determine whether a retailer can participate on Kickfurther.

The service is primarily focused toward retailers, who are often beholden to the cyclical nature of a slow first through third quarter before the holiday season unleashes a wave of sales. De Clercq believes that leveraging the…