Lighter Capital, the leading fintech lender to tech startups, announced that it has appointed Melissa Widner as its CEO, effective today. In this position, Widner will focus on expanding the reach of Lighter Capital, both domestically and internationally.
Widner brings years of experience from the technology and finance sectors to Lighter Capital, both as an investor and startup founder. Prior to joining Lighter Capital, she served as the Managing Partner at NAB Ventures, the Venture Capital arm of the National Australia Bank. Melissa was also a General Partner at Seattle-based venture capital firm, SeaPoint Ventures. As CEO, she has led two companies to successful acquisitions that provided over a 10X return to investors, including enterprise software company, 7Software, (acquired by Concur Technologies NASDAQ: CNQR, acquired by SAP). Melissa is also the chair and co-founder of Sydney based Heads Over Heels, an organization that supports women-led high growth companies.
"As both an entrepreneur and investor, I’m keenly aware of the need for alternatives to traditional financing sources," stated Widner. "Lighter Capital was one of the first companies to recognize the funding gap for emerging companies and, specifically, make debt-based financing available to revenue-producing startups. Over the years, Lighter has provided growth capital to hundreds of entrepreneurs without requiring any equity in return. I’m excited to build on this foundation by making our offerings available to more entrepreneurs both in North America and Australia."
"We couldn’t be more pleased to have Melissa take the reins of Lighter Capital," stated Erik Benson, co-founder of Lighter Capital and managing director of Seattle-based venture capital firm, Voyager Capital. "Melissa’s years of direct experience as an entrepreneur, CEO and investor will prove invaluable in her new role. Just as importantly, the rest of the board and I have had a chance to work closely with her since 2018, when she originally joined Lighter Capital’s board of directors, then representing the interests of NAB Ventures. We are thrilled that we have an experienced fintech executive to take Lighter Capital to its next stage of global growth."
About Lighter Capital
Lighter Capital (https://www.lightercapital.com/) has revolutionized startup financing by making it easy for entrepreneurs to quickly access from $50 thousand to $3 million in growth capital and working capital with zero dilution and full control over how to use the funds. Rather than take equity, Lighter Capital takes a percentage of monthly revenues over the life of the loan and doesn’t require board seats, warrants or personal guarantees from its borrowers.
Lighter’s fintech platform pulls in 6,500 data points, uses proprietary algorithms to determine a credit rating and data science to predict a startup’s revenue growth with 97% accuracy, on average. Lighter Capital has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to start ups including MapAnything, Jive, Quip, and more.
Lighter Capital offers a mix of entrepreneur-friendly product offerings - including term loans with pre-approval for a forward commitment and lines of credit - to empower early-stage tech startups with the flexibility they need to fund the business at different stages of growth. More at www.lightercapital.com.