ForwardLine, One of the Original Funding Companies, is Back

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Steve Carlson, CEO, ForwardLineSteve Carlson, CEO, ForwardLine

ForwardLine Financial originated well over $65 million in loans in 2018, according to CEO Steve Carlson. ForwardLine would not share its origination numbers, but Carlson said the company is comfortably on the deBanked list of top originators. ($65 million is the lowest origination number on the list).

Last week, the company announced that it secured a $100 million credit facility from Credit Suisse AG and Neuberger Berman private equity funds. This is the company’s largest credit facility to date. Its previous credit facility was with East West Bank and that relationship is still in place.

ForwardLine is a direct marketer that provides working capital loans of up to $200,000 to small businesses.

Carlson told deBanked that ForwardLine, which was founded in 2003, has been scaling its business dramatically over the past year and a half. This is no coincidence. Instead, Carlson said this is the result of years worth of planning following a majority investment in ForwardLine in 2015 by a private equity firm called Vistria Group.

“We spent 2016 and 2017 very thoughtfully building out a technology platform, a data infrastructure, and a management team to scale the business,” Carlson said.  “We’re now actioning on that plan. So this is all part of a multi-year strategy.”

A company statement said that the company’s loan performance in 2018 was record-breaking. ForwardLine increased year-over-year total originations by over 300% in the first quarter of 2019.

Carlson said that the new facility will be used primarily to grow the business. ForwardLine is located in Woodland Hills, CA, and it employs 110 people, more than half of whom work in the sales department. Other employees include underwriters and data and analytics people.

Last modified: June 6, 2019
Todd Stone

Category: Business Lending

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