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Lending to Beep for Service

Lending to Beep for Service

Posted on: April 21, 2016
Author: ATB Business & Agriculture

With ATB’s commitment to being THE bank for entrepreneurs, we get to hear the coolest business ideas, and watch them come to life. The latest story we are keeping our eye on is Beep for Service, an app that offers on-demand auto service.

Entrepreneur Matt Horne, the founder of Beep for Service, has been open to trying out some of ATB’s less traditional lending methods, like crowdfunding with Alberta BoostR, and our newest offering—ATB LendR,a crowdlending platform.

LendR is an exciting option for businesses requiring smaller injections of capital, along with support from people in their communities. It’s ideal for businesses that may not qualify for traditional lending, or are looking for smaller loans which will put less of an administrative strain on the business.

We sat down recently with Matt Horne to find out more about his business and his experience with LendR.

Tell us about Beep for Service?

Beep is an online marketplace for automobile maintenance at a fixed price. The app allows vehicle owners to browse the service providers based on location, price or service rating. The 18 vendor partners on the app make up more than 130 service locations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, BC and Ontario. We have been in the market for a year and already have more than 33,000 users.

Where did the initial idea for Beep come from?

I realized that there was no equivalent of Expedia or TripAdvisor in the automotive service industry. Also, there is a big imbalance for companies that can’t compete digitally in an industry that has essentially never had to be online.

From my experience with my other business, DECO Windshield Repair, I gained the knowledge to help these businesses compete with big names and dealerships. Beep is also a great opportunity to offer our windshield repair service to new clients, as DECO is one of the service providers on the app.

Why were you interested in LendR as opposed to more traditional forms of lending?

Both DECO and Beep failed the typical financing applications. As service businesses, we didn't have any assets, buildings or other collateral to secure a loan. We really needed the capital to build and launch our new product and were able to be part of a test program for LendR to fill the gap. It was a great success for our business, as we discovered that the paperwork and administrative workload is much less demanding with this style of lending.

What benefits do you think crowdlending can offer a business?

The most important benefit is the crowd. People resources can be a lot more beneficial for a business than the financial resources. You know if someone is donating their personal “play” money into your business that they are interested in it. There is a great opportunity to reach out to the investors and develop deeper relationships and perhaps get some mentors or partners in the process.

When I needed some capital so I could get the Beep app developed, I spent weeks filling out paperwork and applications. They were constantly sending requests for more information and financial data. Not only was I declined but I wasn’t able to be running my business for that month, which is counterproductive!

With LendR you can essentially say to the crowd—hey, this is who we are, this is what we have done, this is what we are doing now and this is what we would use the capital for. Because the administrative side is so much less, you can be much more involved with your business for the entire process.

What does the future look like for Beep?

Right now we are in Alberta, Saskatchewan, BC and Ontario offering  oil changes, windshield changes and repairs, tire service and detailing/cleaning. We want to expand our services and then expand our location. Through the app store, Beep is available across Canada but just doesn’t have any service providers in all provinces. But we want to change that in the future.

I see us being the Expedia of the automotive service industry. Eventually we will be international, and help people all over the world get more efficient automobile service.

Will you be using LendR to achieve these goals?

Yes! We're continually looking for top talent and passionate people to back our product and work with us. Our next campaign on LendR will be a great way to connect with investors, contractors, developers and other automotive providers.

Learn more about crowdlending with ATB LendR