Asenso Finance Crowdfunds for a new funding round

Asenso Finance, a fintech startup trying to make it easier for small businesses to get loans from community banks and financial institutions, is looking to raise $1 million in a new crowdfunding campaign.

Asenso, based in Manhattan Beach, is via the crowdfunding platform Wefunder.com to find retail investors willing to back his funding round. The startup, which launched last fall and is backed by Los Angeles venture capital studio Talino Venture Labs, is raising money at a pre-money valuation of $15 million. It also offers seed capital investors special “Early Bird” terms: Those who contribute the first $300,000 will invest in a Simple Future Capital Agreement (SAFE) at a pre-cash valuation of $12 million, or a 20% discount. By Monday afternoon, he had raised nearly $91,000.

Asenso aims to close the cycle by the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter, Carina Oriel, head of corporate development and strategy for the company, told dot.LA. The company plans to deploy 40% of the funds to develop its technology, 30% for working capital and 30% for marketing, she added.

Asenso’s digital platform attempts to digitize the loan application and service process for community banks and community development financial institutions (CDFIs), with the aim of making it easier to obtain loans at affordable interest rates for small business owners. This digitization allows community banks and CDFIs to provide more loans to more small businesses while reducing their operational costs.

The startup’s proceeds come after the coronavirus pandemic devastated millions of small businesses across the country, forcing many to turn to programs like the Small Business Administration’s. Besieged Paycheck Protection Program to find relief. In 2020, 62% of businesses received a coronavirus-related loan or grant to keep their operations afloat, and many small businesses still feel unsure of their prospects almost two years after the start of the pandemic.

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