Goldman Sachs is leading a $13 million investment in Nav, a startup that helps small businesses with financial advice and credit scores. Billionaire Steven Cohen’s Point72 Ventures is also investing, along with Clocktower Ventures and the CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund.
This follows $25 million that was invested in the company last year, and is considered part of the same Series B round, bringing the total to $38 million. Other investors in that round included Kleiner Perkins, Crosslink Capital and Tencent.
The company’s co-founder and CEO Levi King, is a serial entrepreneur who previously founded Lendio. He told TechCrunch that he was inspired to start Nav due to his deep frustration that small business owners felt there was “no place to send them for credit and financial education.”
Characterizing Nav as a Credit Karma for small businesses, King believes his startup will “materially decrease the death rate of small businesses in the U.S.” They currently have over 200,000 customers, most of whom don’t pay anything for their credit score, but can opt to pay about $20 per month for added financial advice.
From retail stores to restaurant owners to dentists, King says that a variety of small businesses have turned to Nav for help with credit monitoring. He says that they provide advice that targets small business owners, who often have to take on a lot of personal debt in the early days of their entrepreneurial vision.
Rana Yared, managing director in the Goldman Sachs Principal Strategic Investments Group, said her team believes in Nav because “bringing greater health to the small business lending market and it’s entire value chain starts with cleaning the data at the beginning of that chain.” They are “best in class in what they are.” Her group has been making both enterprise tech and fintech investments and felt that this was a unique opportunity.
Nav is based in San Mateo, California and also has offices in Salt Lake City. The company was founded in 2012.