Nov 11, 2014

ApplePie Capital Announces First-Ever Loan Marketplace to Connect Investors with Franchise Businesses

$3.77 Million Round in ApplePie Capital led by Freestyle Capital, QED Investors, and Signia Venture Partners

San Francisco, CA, November 11, 2014 – ApplePie Capital today announced the first-ever franchise loan marketplace that will connect high-quality franchise brands and their entrepreneurs with investors seeking attractive fixed income returns. As the first marketplace lender solely dedicated to the franchise industry, ApplePie Capital will bridge the financing gap for thousands of qualified entrepreneurs who wish to open or expand their franchise business. This will democratize access to capital to help propel entrepreneurship, support proven Main Street businesses, and create jobs throughout the country. Entrepreneurs can invite their families, friends, and communities to invest in their franchise businesses alongside ApplePie Capital’s growing network of individual and institutional investors.

ApplePie Capital was founded in 2013 and in July 2014 raised $3.77 million from Freestyle Capital, QED Investors, Signia Venture Partners and angel investors. CEO Denise Thomas and COO Steve Pelletier lead a world-class team with proven track records in financial services innovation, regulated industries, market-making technology, and business and market development.

“Franchise businesses are vital contributors to economic growth in the US representing nearly half a trillion in GDP and employing 1 out of every 20 working Americans in 2014,” said Denise Thomas, ApplePie Capital CEO and Co-Founder. “The franchise loan asset class is compelling from a risk perspective because franchise brands have measurable track records that investors can analyze. The brands have proven business models and have rigorous qualification for franchisees, which we further curate. They also offer a wealth of resources to help their franchises succeed—everything from location selection and training to systems implementation and marketing.”

“The franchise industry is a large and growing market with significant capital demands—over $42 billion in 2013. However, small business loans overall are down by nearly 20% since 2008, and the loan application process can be time-consuming and costly,” said Josh Felser, Founder at Freestyle Capital. “Marketplace lending has transformed the personal loan segment to the tune of $9 billion in 2014, and ApplePie is bringing this new economy to franchise financing.”

The marketplace will launch in Q1 of 2015 and offer loans of $100K - $1 million to qualified borrowers in all 50 states. ApplePie Capital has already secured several million in committed capital to help fund loans to well-vetted entrepreneurs and is actively working with several leading franchise brands, their franchisees, and institutional investors to develop financing solutions that ensure long-term success for all parties.

“Marketplace lending and franchises are a natural fit,” said Ken Switzer, CFO of Marco’s Pizza, the fastest growing pizza franchise in the US and one of the Founding Brands of ApplePie Capital’s marketplace. “Franchisees starting new locations can get buy in from investors in the local community and establish momentum before opening their doors.“