Levr.ai is a Vancouver based fintech software company transforming the way businesses access and manage loans. Founders Kaylan Pepin and Roman Hartmann each have more than a decade of experience in the financial and software industries, making them well positioned and uniquely qualified to recognize the underserved aspects of the industry and build a scalable solution.
Levr’s pre-seed round of one million is co-led by Sprout.vc and MAVAN Capital Partners. Sprout.vc is a seed-stage venture capital firm focused on innovative SaaS and B2B companies. MAVAN Capital Partners is a VCC that makes strategic investments in high-growth technology companies. Levr.ai’s additional venture and angel investors include Weave VC, AC100 VC and Red Thread Ventures, Teal Linde, Emily Davies and Paul Podolny. Included in this pre-seed raise, was support of non-dilutive capital from NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) Canada and BDC.
Co-founder and CEO, Pepin is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) with experience working at two of Canada’s largest banks, RBC Royal Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), and most recently the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). He is no stranger to the financial services industry and when asked about major pain points experienced by business owners he states, “Over my career, I‘ve seen many qualified businesses struggle to get financing. 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.”
Co-founder and CTO Hartmann is keen to build Levr.ai saying, “We have the opportunity to provide businesses with unparalleled control and insight into their own capital with our software.” After graduating with BScs in Physics, Material Science and Geophysics, Hartmann launched into a career heavily focused on data, AI and ML. He is passionate about empowering Levr.ai’s customers through access to ML driven insights of their own data. Businesses can connect their accounting and banking software to Levr.ai and its AI and ML customized loan options for each business’ financial needs.
In Canada alone, 34% of all businesses seek financing each year. (Stats CAN, 2022) Pepin and Hartmann founded Levr.ai recognizing this is a recurring need for financing faced by millions of businesses. Levr.ai is for all types of small businesses seeking capital; from Brick and Mortar, Mom-and-Pop shops, to online retailers and software companies. They have established partnerships with lending partners to offer a wide range of small business loan options including business term loans, receivables financing, merchant cash advances, and venture debt.
Investors and businesses alike are anticipating and preparing for a recession in 2023 – positioning Levr.ai well to meet the needs of millions of US & Canadian businesses who will need support to weather the storm or to continue to drive year over year growth.
As Managing Partner, Laine Nevison from MAVAN Capital Partners is dedicated to helping investors access high-growth technology opportunities. He states, “When we learned how driven Levr.ai is to get businesses better and easier access to funding, this investment really resonated with our team. The demand is there, and the problem needs to be solved.” MAVAN Capital Partners believe Levr.ai is well positioned to capture and drive value to this underserved market.
General Partner, Mark Benning from Sprout.vc has spent over 20 years in Silicon Valley both as a founder and leader for various investor-backed software startups. This experience allows him to recognize a unique blend of hustle and diversity when leading investments for Sprout.vc. Benning said, “We’re very impressed with Levr.ai’s strong founders and solid management team, domain expertise as well as the extensive opportunities available in this market.”
Levr.ai has brought together a great group of investors in MAVAN Capital Partners, Sprout.vc as well as AC100 VC, Red Thread Ventures and Weave VC, a firm focused on the next generation of small market founders creating big market solutions.
Founders and investors of Levr.ai expect that the urgency to close a loan quickly, and the need to have clarity on options available, will increase during recessionary times. The time it takes to get a loan funded is a core metric for Levr.ai, already on track with its goals by securing millions in capital for customers who currently use Levr.ai.
Others to join the leadership team include Jennifer Daly, Shane Stoneman and Tara Benson. Daly will be leading marketing and brings with her 10+ years of SaaS growth experience as an early employee at WaveApps (acquired by H&R Block in 2019), Shopify, RBCx (formerly known as RBC Ventures) and Malwarebytes. Stoneman and Benson both come from Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). Stoneman brings 7+ years experience, recently as a Senior Account Executive funding millions of dollars of capital to businesses since 2015. Benson has ten years experience, recently at BDC starting with its Tech Scaleup Group and Major Accounts in Tech. Previously she was with CIBC for 6+ years climbing the ranks in its Commercial Banking division.
The future looks bright for Levr.ai with this pre-seed investment powering its plans for geographic footprint growth and acquisition through digital client acquisition and partnerships. The funds raised will be invested in growing the existing team and expanding its reach to service United States based businesses.