Case Study: How Pave got 7 figures of dilution-free capital to scale their business in just 48 hours
PAVE is a credit-building subscription service with a mission to “put a stop to the financial inequality that is spreading in our society.” Harnessing state-of-the-art analytics that combines open banking data, credit file data, and data from over 100,000 proprietary lending decisions, Pave aims to put individuals and businesses on a sustainable path to good credit.
Founded in 2018 (originally Portify), the company has raised several equity rounds. In 2022, Pave launched its B2B service, the Fuse app, which helps businesses make the best lending decisions to increase acceptances, reduce risk, and save time.
Like many entrepreneurs, Pave co-founder and CEO Sho Sugihara admits to having a love-hate relationship with fundraising. But after growing up in Japan and working in its social finance sector, working for an NGO in Brazil, and moving to London feeling “inspired by the power of what financial services could do for financial inclusion,” he was committed to Pave’s vision. Which meant he’d need to look for capital to have the biggest impact.
The challenge: Getting the capital to get the word out about the Pave app
With a strong vision in place, investing in marketing would help the company grow faster. But Sho says Pave’s biggest challenge was getting the word out. “As a founder, you don’t want to be spending time fundraising. You want to be building your company.”
After multiple funding rounds—and all the effort that went into them—Sho and team needed a capital solution that would help them reach their goals and stay focused on the business.
The solution: Efficient, streamlined access to capital
In the end, though, Sho’s pavement pounding led to a solution to Pave’s problems—and even opened up opportunities he didn’t know were possible. While preparing for a venture-backed fundraising round, Sho got a message from a colleague who recommended Pipe.
Within 48 hours of that call, Pave was on track to trade its recurring revenue for up-front non-dilutive capital on Pipe.
The results: Faster growth through frictionless financing
Pave was able to access capital to invest directly into marketing. And rather than slowing themselves down by reaching out to investors for funding, they got that capital instantly and were free to focus on running the company.
“We’re a pretty high-growth business with multi-million revenue,” said Sugihara. Pipe helps Pave feel far more comfortable in its own lane, and forging its own path. “There’s lots of hype on TechCrunch, or wherever around large and increasingly larger venture-backed raises… we haven’t raised as much of those types of headlines because, frankly, we haven’t had the need. It’s often quite important not to get distracted by those mega rounds, because that’s not necessarily success.”
Sugihara assumed further dilution was definitely in Pave’s future, but now says “Since we have quite a strong repeatable revenue business, [We’re able] to avoid dilution.” “Pipe’s funding model creates a great alternative structure to retain your interest in your own company longer.”
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