In the third article in our Female Founder Series, we share how female CEOs are underrepresented in venture debt and what TIMIA Capital is doing to change that.
In the first article in TIMIA’s Female Founder Series, we shared how privately held tech companies led by women are more capital-efficient, achieve 35% higher ROI, and have 12% higher revenue than startups run by men. Despite this, women are massively under-represented among venture capital-backed entrepreneurs, venture capitalist investors, and — based on our own experience — venture or private debt recipients.
While there are women in senior leadership positions at many of our portfolio companies, we have just one female founder on our books: Jennifer Mercer, CEO of Metazoa. We have an upcoming spotlight feature on Jennifer coming soon, so stay tuned to our blog!
Raising Awareness of Debt Finance among Women Entrepreneurs
We are actively working to bring more female entrepreneurs into our portfolio and raise awareness about non-dilutive forms of growth capital among female founders. Here are some of the ways TIMIA is creating a friendly place for female founders.
1. A Strong Female Lead
Our leadership team is heavily stacked with experienced businesswomen, and we offer a friendly place for female-led startups to discuss growth capital opportunities.
Our President, Monique Morden is an experienced female entrepreneur, advisor, and angel investor. In a recent article, Monique expressed her commitment to growing a founder-friendly finance business, “As a founder, I have great empathy for entrepreneurs — particularly female entrepreneurs — that come to us for financing. I have been in their shoes and I know how tough it is to get access to capital of any kind.”
2. Female-Stacked Underwriting and Portfolio Management Teams
Our underwriting and portfolio management teams are 70% female and include our CEO, Monique Morden as well as:
Brooke Jutzi, CFO
Brooke joined TIMIA in 2019 after serving as Director in the audit and assurance practice at PwC Canada for 16 years. She is experienced in accounting and financial reporting under IFRS, ASPE, Public Sector Accounting Standards, US GAAP and SEC Reporting in a variety of industries, most recently technology and insurance.
Justine Oliver, Finance Manager
Before TIMIA, Justine worked at Miovision Technologies as a Senior Corporate Accountant and Finance Analyst. She graduated from the BBA – Accounting, Audit, and IT program at Conestoga College and is currently enrolled in the CPA program.
Natalie Davies, Head of Due Diligence
Prior to TIMIA, Natalie worked at Espresso Capital as a Due Diligence Lead and at Metropolitan Life as a Senior Investment Analyst. Natalie has an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and is a CFA charter holder.
Sydney Marteniuk, Business Development
Before TIMIA, Sydney worked as a brand ambassador for the Bishop’s University’s Commerce Society and as a marketing assistant for Thermo Fisher Scientific. She received her International Baccalaureate Diploma at Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute, Ontario
3. Unbiased Processes
Our three-phase proprietary tech-enabled lending process examines the hard data. We don’t want to hear your pitch, we only look at the numbers and the due diligence data. If you are demonstrating a path to realistic growth, you’ll probably be approved for funding.
We are modifying our underwriting models to include diversity as a dimension in the scoring. Founders and executive teams with women and people of colour will score more points in the governance section to even the playing field.
Why Debt is Better for Founders
There is a huge misconception in the tech industry that VC funding is a validation of a startup’s business model and carte blanche to invest in office spaces, perks, parties, and short-sighted hiring plans. Recent history has shown how dangerous this misconception can be.
Debt-based financing is almost always cheaper than equity-based financing in the long term. Debt also places the focus back on business fundamentals — customer acquisition costs, cash conversion cycles, and customer payback — and away from the ego-driven hype around new funding round press releases.
Debt allows founders to:
- Retain ownership and control
TIMIA won’t ask for equity in your company, board seats, or personal guarantees. What’s yours is yours.
- Use flexible repayment plans
Keep working capital in your business as long as possible without worrying about high repayments in the early days.
- Decide how to spend the capital
Unlike other lenders, TIMIA doesn’t tell you how to run your business. Spend the growth capital as you wish.
- Get approval quickly
Our tech-enabled lending platform expedites our lending processes so you can access 6-12 times your monthly recurring revenue within weeks.
Jennifer Mercer, CEO of Metazoa — a TIMIA portfolio company — accessed a $2 million debt facility from TIMIA in 2019 to fuel sales, marketing, and customer success activities.
She said, “Having previous fundraising experience, I was looking for an alternative to traditional venture funding. I wanted to keep all the equity in the company, if possible. Someone suggested I look into debt, and I came across TIMIA. I’m very happy that this is the direction we’ve chosen.”
Jennifer is a second-time founder. Her first company raised $23 million in venture capital but she decided to choose debt in her latest venture to reduce dilution and retain control of the business.
TIMIA’s Debt Offerings
Our revenue facilities are tailored based on the specific metrics of each SaaS company we work with. Whether it’s an Interest-Only or Amortized Loan, we offer risk-adjusted pricing to reflect your company’s unique characteristics.
TIMIA’s Interest Only Loans are perfect for companies seeking to grow their valuations before an exit or a venture capital funding round. These companies typically have greater than $3 million in ARR and reasonable cash burn.
- Upfront cash injection of up to 6–12 times the current MRR
- Repay the loan over 2-3 years
- Repayments are interest-only or similar, with a balloon payment at the end
TIMIA’s Amortized Loans are ideal for bootstrapping companies looking to grow their business without dilution. They can be used to fuel growth with sales and marketing, fund the cost of customer acquisition, buy out early investors, build valuations, or acquire another company.
Amortized Loans are perfect for recurring (or repeat) revenue technology businesses since the repayments start low and increase over time (hopefully as your revenue grows).
- Upfront cash injection of up to 6–12 times the current MRR
- Repay the loan over 3-6 years
- Repayments are low at the beginning and higher at the end
If you’re a female founder with between $2 and $20 million in ARR or you’d just like some more information on TIMIA’s friendly financing options, contact our team.
More articles in the Female Founder Series:
- The Fight of the Female Founder
- Female Founder Spotlight: Monique Morden
- Female Founder Spotlight: Jennifer Mercer
Looking for non-dilutive capital?
TIMIA Capital works with B2B SaaS and software-enabled
companies between $2 – $20 million ARR.