Founder George Cook, Honeycomb Credit’s winning 5-minute pitch @FintechFrontier

I’ve followed Honeycomb Credit since they pitched in the fintech startup accelerator session at FinovateSpring 2018 (see recording below). Founder George Cook 6th generation community banker and a passionate entrepreneur. The startup crowdsources loans for much-needed expansion capital to main street businesses. It’s a great mission and a solid business model (basically what community banks have done for more than a century).

A live deal on the platform (16 Nov 2020)

I am lender on the platform so I get the occasional notices of new loan opportunities. But I hadn’t realized the amount of traction they are getting until I saw that they won first place in the inaugural FintechFrontier fintech startup pitch competition a few weeks ago (see pitch above).

Update (17 Nov 2020): The company is currently raising a seed round, which is available to backers/LPs of the Flight.VC syndicate on AngelList (must be an accredited investor).

Traction:

  • Loan recipients are seeing a 33% increase in revenue (YOY)
  • Completed 110 crowdfunding campaigns in 17 states
  • 83% success rate in funding the minimum loan amount requested
  • Total of $2.5M originated (lifetime) for a $27,000 average loan value
  • 3,100 total investments made by crowdfunding lenders (an average of 34 individual loans of about $800 each)
  • 25% of businesses are minority-owned and 51% are women-owned
  • 75% of the deals are from referrals
  • Number of deals doubled in the past 2 quarters

Opportunities for financial institutions:
I’d love to see more financial institutions take this approach, enlisting the local community to support local businesses. It’s a perfect antidote to the pressures of the COVID economy on local businesses. But it’s also a timeless strategy of helping each other succeed. The platform could be built in-house, but it probably makes more sense to partner with Honeycomb or other crowdfunders to leverage their technology.

Company vitals

HQ: Pittsburgh, PA

Founder:
George Cook, CEO
Ken Martin (also VP RBC Capital Markets)

Raised: $1.2M (Crunchbase, Nov 2020)

Company links: Website | Crunchbase | Twitter | Linkedin | TrustPilot

Reference:

George Cook of Honeycomb Credit delivers a 3-min pitch @FinovateSpring 2018 (May)