Able: A New Way To Fund Your Business

Backed by the likes of Peter Thiel and Mike Maples Jr., Austin-based startup Able is providing a new way for entrepreneurs to fund their businesses.

 Able welcomes the Founders Space community to  Able Start, a new product that allows entrepreneurs to raise funds through custom loan agreements with their friends, family and fans. Founders keep all of their equity and set their own terms and interest rates. (Check out the custom calculator here.)

Able provides clear, binding legal contracts, custom loan documents with transparent repayment schedules, and comprehensive servicing of the loan. It also provides the critical consultation on how to structure a loan that positions all parties for success, and the professional advice on how to make the ask.

Able Start appeals to founders because it sets a path for the business to unlock more funding as it grows. Businesses that generate more than $50,000 in annual revenue over more than six months become eligible to graduate to Able’s original product, Able Growth, in which Able triples funds from friends and family. These businesses join the Able 100, an elite group of entrepreneurs who get promoted nationwide.

 

Most entrepreneurs borrow money from friends and family early in their business trajectory, but the outreach is often difficult and awkward. Some opt for equity when debt is a better option. Founders often don’t know what terms to set or how to handle payments. They’re afraid of alienating friends and family members at a time when they most need their support. They have no official way to propose the loan in a way that inspires confidence. Lastly, once their backers said yes it can be expensive! The professional loan documents cost them up to $5,000. Worse still, they had to service the loan themselves.

Many come to dread Christmas, when family members are more interested in repayment checks than gifts. Some had no legal documents – just a handshake – and, for at least one Borrower, the lack of a contract turned into a nightmare that nearly crippled the business when things got sticky.

No one wants to turn their friends and family into debt collectors. So, Able Start takes the uncertainty and guesswork out of what can be an awkward – and sometimes messy – interaction so that entrepreneurs can protect their most important relationships and focus on their business. Able manages payments so the entrepreneur doesn’t have to. (Every month, automated ACH withdrawals pull from the Borrower’s bank account and deposit to every Backer’s’ account.)

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