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Goldman Sachs, Point72 and others invest $44 million in business credit startup Nav

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nav, a startup that gives small businesses free access to their credit reports, said on Monday that it had raised $44 million from investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Point72 Ventures and Experian Ventures (EXPN.L).

CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund and Aries also participated in the round which was led by Goldman Sachs, the companies said.

Salt Lake City-based Nav plans to use the funding to continue to build out its technology and market its platform to more small businesses, Levi King, the company’s co-founder and CEO, said in an interview.

Founded in 2012, Nav aims to make it easier for small business to access financing by showing them their credit reports from major consumer and commercial credit bureaus for free. Nav’s platform also contains a marketplace of more than 100 financing products such as loans and credit cards that small and medium businesses can apply to based on their financial health.

“One of the pain points for small businesses is that the process of getting financing is a pain,” King said. “We are in a position to make that dramatically easier for the business owner.”

Similar to well-known consumer credit score startup Credit Karma, Nav makes money through partnerships with the credit providers whose products are displayed on its platform.

Nav is among the growing batch of young companies using technology to offer more user-friendly financial services to small businesses and consumers.

Established financial firms have been investing millions of dollars into these companies as they seek to keep up with new technology and to offer better services to clients.

Tripp Shriner, a partner at Point72 Ventures, the venture capital arm of Steve Cohen’s investment firm Point 72, said Nav had a compelling business model because it also helps credit providers by placing their products in front of the right potential customers.

“It provides value to banks and other financial service providers,” Shriner said.

Goldman, Point72 and CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund, had made a first investment in Nav in 2017.

As part of Goldman’s investment Rana Yared, managing director in the bank’s strategic investment group, has become a voting director on Nav’s board, the companies said.

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