The Inspiration Behind Uncapped

  • Asher Ismail, Co-founder at Uncapped

  • 23.07.2021 03:45 pm
  • Finance




  1. Tell us about what you do and what sets you apart in the market?

At Uncapped, we believe that founders should not have to give away equity to fund marketing, inventory, or hiring expenses. Our technology provides founders with growth finance for a flat fee as low as 6% in as little as a day. Businesses only repay the capital as they make revenue with no set repayment date and no compounding interest, dilution or personal guarantees. We believe it's the most affordable, flexible type of financing available to growth companies.

  1. What was the inspiration behind starting the business?

Uncapped was born out of frustrations I faced when running my first business. I didn’t want to take financing from the banks because they all wanted personal guarantees. The business wasn’t the right fit for venture capital, so I repeatedly missed out on growth opportunities.

Meanwhile, my co-founder, Piotr, a venture capitalist, met hundreds of founders who had great businesses but needed a different funding model. Often founders would give up equity to finance marketing and inventory expenses because they had no other choice. It took a long time to raise and often meant the founders lost control of their company along the way.

I don’t want another founder to have to pay compounding interest, risk losing their home, or give up more equity in their company than they should. Europe’s entrepreneurs need access to more innovative funding models, and we wanted to help founders win by pioneering a fair and transparent approach at Uncapped. So for me, it’s a dream to work at Uncapped and help more entrepreneurs access funding and reach their goals. 

  1. What has been your biggest challenge so far and how have you overcome it?

When the pandemic hit, every venture fund and small business lender we spoke to was pulling back and meanwhile we were out raising a new funding round with plans to accelerate. There were a lot of sleepless nights wondering if we were making the right move.

What pulled us though was that unlike other online lenders that depend on personal guarantees and the founder’s own credit history as the main drivers of their risk models, we used live data about the company’s actual trading to make our decisions. We were able to access the real-time data about how our portfolio was performing, make quick decisions and continue to issue credit.

The risk paid off and our number of investments and the returns have since grown exponentially.

  1. How do you build and develop talent and elevate people to be at their very best?

We started Uncapped to help founders grow their companies further and faster. This principle applies to our commitment to everyone who works here. We want to create a company where employees can realise their complete potential – their own uncapped growth, professionally and personally.

Our culture is the foundation of how we work together and collaborate to solve problems, and our core values articulate the behaviours that enable this continual learning and growth.

We think the best way to develop talented people is to focus on those values that help us clearly define goals and expectations; measure and communicate progress and setbacks; encourage asking, receiving, and providing help to each other; enable autonomy and accountability; and reward contributions with new opportunities.

In particular, our values of impact, communication, and inclusion will guide our learning and development programs that will help everyone be their best selves.

  1. How has Mouro Capital assisted you in tackling some of your recent pain points?

Mouro Capital’s experience scaling fintechs like Ripple and iZettle is invaluable to our long-term growth. The team’s deep knowledge of financial services means they always offer sound judgement - backed up by the latest industry knowledge - on how we build our business.

On a day-to-day basis, Mouro Capital’s support has been a huge help too. As a founder, I have to make a variety of decisions every day, so it’s really important that I trust the people I work with. Manuel Silva Martinez - our partner at Mouro Capital - is one of the people whose advice I rely on most.

We count on Manuel to help us think through our approach to funding and debt, make introductions, and keep us up to date with the latest in the financial services space. He also applies his knowledge of working with other high-growth fintech businesses to help us consider new partners and hires.

  1. Running a start-up is hard work – what advice would you give a budding entrepreneur out there?

So often I meet entrepreneurs who say they are working late every night and have an infinite list of things to do, yet weeks will go by and they don’t feel like they have accomplished much. I call it getting caught in the ‘whirlwind’, the small seemingly urgent to-dos, and not making enough time for the important long-term ones.

One simple thing I do to help fix this is to set aside two hours of focus time each day. If you make your focus time at the start of the day before other issues are fighting for your attention, the more likely you are to keep focus. When our brains are fresh, we’re also best primed to tackle those tough problems we might have been procrastinating on.

If you can learn to resist being tempted to respond to incoming slack messages and emails, and only work on your top priority goal during these early hours, and follow this pattern every day, you will achieve incredible things.

6. What’s next for Uncapped?

We’ve just secured $80million in new funding to enable us to move beyond lending by launching a suite of new banking services tailored to the needs of digital entrepreneurs.

The reality is that legacy banks don’t really understand the needs of digital entrepreneurs, and their dated infrastructure is not up to the standards required to help their business grow. This is a huge problem and, as digital entrepreneurs ourselves, we’re best placed to solve it.

We’ll soon be launching the Uncapped Business Account, so founders can manage their cash flow better, avoid fees, and grow with credit products built for ecommerce & SaaS. We’re currently inviting companies to sign-up for early access.

We will also use the capital to increase its headcount from 35 to 100 people by the end of the year, with a particular focus on sales and product roles. We are a fully remote business and actively recruiting, especially in the UK, Germany and Poland.




Related Blogs

Other Blogs