Vancouver-based FinTech startup Levr.ai has secured $1 million CAD in pre-seed funding to provide small businesses in Canada with simplified loan applications.
Levr.ai’s pre-seed round was co-led by British Columbia-based Mavan Capital Partners and Alberta-based Sprout, which has previously invested in BC companies. Additional investors included Weave VC, AC100 VC, Red Thread Ventures, and local investors Teal Linde, Emily Davies and Paul Podolny. An undisclosed amount of non-dilutive capital from NRC, IRAP and BDC was also included in the funding.
“I‘ve seen many qualified businesses struggle to get financing.”
-Kaylan Pepin, Levr.ai
“I‘ve seen many qualified businesses struggle to get financing,” said Levr.ai co-founder and CEO Kaylan Pepin in a statement. “Even worse than the complex loan application process is the lack of software tools available to manage active business loans. We’re building Levr.ai to solve these issues.”
Last year, over four-fifths (82.4 percent) of small-to-medium-sized Canadian businesses requested external financing, a significant increase from 47.1 percent in 2017, according to Statistics Canada. Levr.ai believes that its software will help more businesses secure funding preceding a forecasted recession in 2023.
Levr.ai offers an artificial intelligence-driven loan marketplace that provides a wide range of funding options to small businesses seeking capital, including business term loans, receivables financing, merchant cash advances and venture debt. The company says its marketplace accelerates the process of looking for a loan, applying for a loan, and managing existing loans.
The startup’s co-founders, Roman Hartmann and Kaylan Pepin, are each experienced in the AI and finance sectors, respectively. Hartmann spent his career focusing on data and machine learning at companies like MacroHealth and Unbounce, while Pepin has experience working at three of Canada’s largest banks; RBC, CIBC, and BDC.
Levr.ai is currently working with over 15 lender partners and claims to have lent nearly $2.5 million CAD to its business partners. The company says funds raised will be invested in growing their employee pool and expanding its reach to service United States-based businesses.
“When we learned how driven Levr.ai is to get businesses better and easier access to funding, this investment really resonated with our team,” said Laine Nevison, managing partner at Mavan Capital Partners, “The demand is there, and the problem needs to be solved.”
Feature image courtesy Pexels. Photo by Mikhail Nilov.