I have some exciting news to share. Fundastic has been acquired by Nav, formerly Creditera.
The brand and product will live on and Fundastic will remain free to our users via the Nav site. Nav and Fundastic share the same core value of always putting small businesses first. We couldn’t think of a better partner to work with, to grow with and to serve small businesses around the country.
You might ask why Fundastic decided NOT to stay independent. The answer is complex but in essence, I believe we came up with a product business owners want. But to make business owners aware of the presence of Fundastic requires tremendous marketing effort and financial resources. We concluded that, instead of finding and investing all the resources ourselves, it makes a lot more sense to partner with someone who is committed to the small business community and has the resources and infrastructure to reach SMBs. Nav is such a partner who has made good progress reaching business owners, has a great business credit product, and is well funded by top tier VCs. Fundastic’s offering will be complementary to that of Nav. Together, more values can be provided to small business owners with no additional amount of marketing effort.
Some reflections …
A lot of people asked me why I started Fundastic at all. My prior work history had nothing to do with small businesses or finance. Well, I am
the daughter of a serial entrepreneur
. Here is the story.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, my dad had a high profile/paying job as the Editor-in-Chief of Business Times in Taiwan (it’s like Wall Street Journal of Taiwan). After spending a lot of time with top business leaders, he decided he wanted to start his own company. Thus, he quit to take the leap of faith into business ownership. He is a good businessman and set up a manufacturing factory in no time making beach chairs. He also managed to get a multi-million dollar order from a big retailer in America. He fulfilled the orders and delivered the chairs. Things were going well but there was a big problem. Those chairs turned out to be defective. Even if you are a skinny 100-pound model, the chair will collapse in seconds when you sat on it (I personally broke a handful of those defective chairs as a 9-year old). The retailer rejected the order (with good reason) and the chairs were basically worthless. My dad owed $1M+ to the bank overnight and my family was essentially bankrupt.
I still tear up when I think about that gloomy Chinese New Year after the beach chair incident. My mom was in Washington DC for work. My dad wore an old suit (he usually got a new tailored suit around CNY each year) and told my siblings and me that things had been difficult. My dad is a smart, confident and optimistic person. Even the 9-year old me could see how beat up he was and I wondered if he did something wrong to cause all the distress. Little did I know that being a business owner is very hard and things can go horribly wrong unpredictably, no matter how business savvy the entrepreneur is.
Thankfully, my dad was able to recover from his enormous loss. It took my dad 10 years to repay the million dollar debt and he had since started another handful of successful businesses (with only a few manageable flops along the way). My general impression is that being a business owner is very risky with gigantic responsibility (which proved to be true). I never thought I would one day start my own company.
Fast forward to 2 years ago. I am one of the lucky winners of silicon valley lottery as an early Facebook employee with pre-IPO stock options. With my modest life style, I pretty much don’t have to work for the rest of my life. I decided to do something adventurous. Against all odds, I started a company!!! When Fundastic first started, we were into crowdfunding but gradually we slowly pivoted to what Fundastic is today and I really like what it has become. Through the journey, I have a deeper understanding of my father, my family history, an entrepreneurs’ struggle, creativity, determination and contributions to our society. I really think business owners, no matter how small or large their business, deserve more credit. Simply put, running a business with $50K a year in profits is far harder than working on a job making $50K a year. If you don’t believe me, you can try it out yourself. It requires a lot of skills to make a business sustainable.
If you are still reading, I am finally making my point here. Levi King, the CEO of Nav, is a serial entrepreneur and also has an entrepreneur father. He started Nav (formerly Creditera) to help business owners thrive and I believe he really means it. Levi and the team are perfecting a small business resource platform that is of the business owners, by the business owners and for the business owners. I am excited to see how things will turn out in the next few years and I will stay on as an advisor to help with Nav’s mission.