By Lesley Green-Rennis
- Stacey Abram’s financial services company, “Now” has raised a $9.5M Series A funding round
- To date, the company has served over 1,000 small businesses and processed over $700 million in transactions
Political superstar Stacey Abrams is cementing her fintech genius with her company “Now” that has raised a $9.5 million Series A funding round. Unfortunately, small business ownership in the U.S. fell 22% between February 2020 and April 2020, and Black business ownership was down 41%, the greatest decline among all racial groups during the pandemic. Abrams and her long-time business partner, Lara O’Connor Hodgson are doing something to help small B2B companies get paid and stay in business.
Why This Matters: NowAccount grew out of the experiences of Abrams and O’Connor Hodgson, running the company Nourish, which made baby and toddler beverages. They closed the company after receiving and being unable to fulfill a large retailer’s order. Like other small businesses, their growth led to a need for more readily available capital. Unfortunately, banks would not lend them the money they needed for their glow up.
The death of Nourish planted seeds of inspiration for Now. This company was founded in 2010 to provide small businesses a quicker method for getting invoices paid. Since the start of the pandemic, 53% of Black business owners saw their revenue drop by half, compared to 37% of white business owners, so Now has become an even more useful fintech platform to help keep business afloat. When a business submits an invoice through NowAccount, the service pays 100% of the invoice, minus a 3% merchant fee. To date, the company has served over 1,000 small businesses and processed over $700 million in transactions.
Situational Awareness: During the pandemic the average wait time for invoice payment expanded from around 50 days to between 70-80. Not to mention data shows many minority business owners did not receive PPP loans until near the end of the new program’s funding rounds, and thousands closed for good because they could not secure bank loans during the first wave of the pandemic. Without the assistance of companies like Now, small minority-owned companies could easily find themselves out of business.
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