Running an eCommerce business isn’t always easy. You need a stable cash flow to run your operations efficiently and meet customer demand. Now, what if you want to take the next big step and expand?
Even with steady sales, it can be challenging to scale for growth without a significant cash surplus. The big question is, how can you get the necessary funding to scale your store?
Here’s where eCommerce funding platforms come in.
They offer convenient options for you to secure additional capital, which you can then use to add inventory, promote your company, and hire more people. Some platforms even provide analytics, marketing, and networking tools and services to further fuel your growth.
In this guide, we’ll share five of the top eCommerce funding platforms, including:
- Shopify Capital
Later, we will also look at frequently asked questions for choosing the right eCommerce funding platform. You can skip ahead to that here.
8fig is an eCommerce financing platform that offers a planning and funding service to help eCommerce businesses scale and achieve rapid growth.
This platform provides eCommerce sellers access to capital based on their growth trajectory, revenue projections, and supply chain analysis. It leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to make sense of your sales performance and financial data to generate customized Growth Plans that fit your business’s specific situation.
Through its flexible and needs-based solution for continuous cash flow, your business can scale without giving up company equity.
How 8fig Works
What makes 8fig unique as an eCommerce funding solution is that it provides businesses with a steady stream of funds instead of dispersing lump sums.
Why is this optimal? Because a sudden influx of capital can interfere with the natural cash flow cycle of a business, which could negatively impact its growth.
Instead, 8fig disperses the funds incrementally according to each business’ custom Growth Plan. This is determined by the platform’s AI engine, which analyzes your company’s financial data.
8fig also formulates an optimal payment schedule that reduces cash flow strain based on the health of your supply chain. It also predicts how your sales will progress during the Growth Plan’s covered period (and beyond) by considering several key business metrics.
By categorizing expenses into unique supply chain “lines,” 8fig gives complete visibility into each product’s lifecycle, including deposits, balance, freight, logistics, and marketing. It grants insights to business owners on how to prepare and adjust their budgets for unexpected occurrences, such as delivery delays or demand fluctuation.
Through this combination of AI, continuous funding, and flexible remittance, 8fig aims to accelerate the expansion and growth of any business it funds.
To apply for 8fig funding, eCommerce brands must have either:
- A monthly revenue exceeding $8,500 for at least three months
- A yearly revenue of over $100,000
Moreover, 8fig only looks at your business’s past performance and future potential, so there’s no need to worry about credit scores.
The cost of each 8fig Growth Plan is usually between $6,000 and $10,000 for every $100,000 in funding provided to the business.
Clearco (formerly Clearbanc) is a non-bank commercial lending platform. It prides itself on being a “by founders, for founders” outfit with a solution that is focused on eCommerce growth. It has invested over $3 billion in over 7,000 businesses worldwide.
The platform provides financing that can be used for marketing and inventory capital.
- With the marketing capital option, you can spend on campaigns to expand your reach online
- With the inventory capital option, Clearco can buy up to $1 million of products from your suppliers for you to sell
This helps you work around upfront costs and frees up your cash flow to spend on other crucial business items.
Alongside funding, Clearco also gives you access to:
- Insights, which is a real-time analytics tool
- ClearMatch, which is a partner-matching solution to help you link up with other potential collaborators for your business
How Clearco Works
Clearco first connects with your eCommerce applications to check key growth metrics like monthly revenue and ad performance. Then, within 24 hours, the platform will provide you with three funding offers that range from $10,000 to $20 million.
The financing works similarly to a merchant cash advance. Clearco takes a percentage from your sales until you pay back the amount in full. There isn’t a set due date for paying the loan back in full. The loan cost is influenced by how you use the funds.
Clearco offers a zero minimum credit score requirement, and businesses aren’t subjected to credit checks upon application.
To qualify for Clearco, eCommerce brands must have:
- At least six months of consistent revenue
- An average monthly income of at least $10,000
The fee depends on how you spend your funding. It can be from 8% to 14%, and you will know the exact percentage upfront once you pick your funding offer. The fee remains constant throughout your advance.
For example, if you receive $100,000 for 12%, you have to pay back $112,000.
Once you have access to funds, Clearco will begin taking a percentage of your sales as repayment. It will debit from your bank account based on your connected sales accounts.
Payability is a financing solution for eCommerce businesses offering flexible funding options. It specializes in helping online marketplace merchants on platforms like Amazon, Walmart, Newegg, and Shopify.
Payability operates on the premise that it can take weeks or months for merchants to receive their payouts from these online marketplaces. Through funding, it can help businesses deal with payables, spend on inventory, and invest in other growth opportunities.
Since its founding in 2015, the company has provided over $5 billion in funding for thousands of eCommerce businesses.
How Payability Works
Payability offers three funding options: Instant Access, Instant Advance, and Advance Line.
- Instant Access: With Instant Access, you can get a daily advance of 80% of your payouts from the previous day into your Payability account with Instant Access funding. You’ll get the remaining 20% when the marketplace payout is received.
- Instant Advance: This funding option works by purchasing your future receivables. You’ll typically get 75%–150% of a single month’s marketplace sales revenue. You’ll remit a fixed percentage of your sales as you sell (usually between 12% and 25%) until Payability receives the total amount of the purchased receivables.
- Advance Line: If you need more cash, you can opt for Advance Line. You can readily draw funds from your account. It requires you to pay a fee only on the portion you draw, without maintenance, application, and unused capital fees.
You can apply for funding through Payability’s quick onsite application. Processing takes as fast as one business day, and you get access to funds once approved.
Eligibility will depend on which funding package you are applying for.
- For Instant Access, you need at least $10,000 in monthly sales and three months of selling history to apply.
- For Instant Advance, you need to have at least $50,000 in average monthly sales and nine months of selling history to apply.
- For Advance Line, you need a minimum annual revenue of $500,000 to apply.
Costs depend on which funding option you are applying for.
- Instant Access charges 2% of gross sales. Sellers who make over $100,000 a month may get discounted fees.
- Instant Advance usually charges between 0.5% and 1% per week.
- With Advance Line, you can repay with a fixed percentage of sales (not a fixed rate on the available amount). This means you’ll just pay more when you get more sales and pay less on slow days.
Wayflyer provides revenue-based financing for eCommerce businesses. Like the other eCommerce funding outfits on this list, it is focused on helping merchants scale.
Businesses on Wayflyer get access to flexible funding that can be used for marketing, inventory, and other cash flow needs. The platform also offers an analytics dashboard and access to marketing experts to help funded businesses reach more customers and scale their operations.
Wayflyer was founded in 2019 and has helped over 1,500 customers. It has also raised $236 million in venture capital funding.
How Wayflyer Works
Wayflyer purchases a portion of the store’s future sales. Businesses can get funding from $10,000 up to $20 million.
To access funds, you simply have to connect your eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Amazon, and Stripe to Wayflyer. It will check relevant data and generate funding offers within hours. You can also integrate marketing and analytics platforms like Google Ads and Analytics to get better offers.
The offers will depend on your business’ performance. Each offer is structured clearly so that you can see how much funding you get and the fees and percentages for your repayments.
The platform even provides an analysis that projects your business’ growth rate with and without financial aid so that you can check how much of an impact the funding can do for you.
eCommerce retailers selling products online must meet the following requirements to get funding from Wayflyer:
- Have an average monthly revenue of at least $20,000
- Be incorporated in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, or Sweden
- Have been in business for six months
The only cost of funding is the percentage transaction fee applied to the cash advance amount. The fee is typically between 2% and 8%, depending on the amount of funding you want and your business performance.
5. Shopify Capital
Shopify Capital is Shopify’s in-house business financing program and is exclusive to Shopify merchants with good sales histories. The program provides short-term business funding through merchant cash advances and short-term loans.
Shopify can grant you up to $2 million in funding, which you can use for inventory, marketing, and payroll.
With the program, Shopify looks to find a win-win situation with its merchants. The success of businesses on its platform translates to better revenues for the eCommerce giant as well.
How Shopify Capital Works
With merchant cash advances, Shopify Capital can let you get between $200 to $2 million, depending on your store’s performance. Shopify holds back a portion of your sales from each business day until the amount is paid.
The remittance rate depends on your performance, and there’s no deadline to remit the total. This makes cash advances a more flexible option for most businesses.
Similarly, with Shopify Capital’s loans, you get a lump sum that’s subject to a fixed borrowing cost. The lump sum and the fixed borrowing cost adds up to the total owed. Like with cash advances, Shopify gets a percentage of your daily sales as repayment until the total owed is fully paid. You have the option to pay the remaining balance in one lump sum.
Since Shopify Capital is a program within Shopify itself, there isn’t any need for any complicated application processes and further integration. The data is already there for Shopify to process. If qualified, you will simply get a notification to see your funding options.
Shopify hasn’t made the requirements public as of this time. But you have to be a Shopify merchant in the US, UK, or Canada.
You will also need to have a profile that is considered low-risk, must process a specific amount of sales, and have Shopify Payments or other third-party payment providers enabled. If qualified, you will just get messages from Shopify with the funding offers.
You won’t have a fixed payment amount or set term length since Shopify considers fluctuations in your sales. You’ll continue to pay the percentage until you can repay the total amount.
Bonus: Frequently Asked Questions About eCommerce Funding Answered
As you can see, eCommerce funding platforms give businesses more options on how and where to get additional capital beyond traditional financing and investment sources.
But to make better sense of things, let’s review some common questions people have about eCommerce funding.
1. What are the crucial factors to consider when choosing an eCommerce funding platform?
The platform should make it easy for you to get funded. Check out how convenient the process is.
- Do they need tons of paperwork?
- Do you have to go through lengthy background checks?
- Do they judge you simply based on your business’ performance?
Their documentation should also give you a good idea if they want you to succeed. For instance, the fees and repayment schedules should be clearly spelled out. You want to avoid platforms with terms that contain very complicated language and complex cost and pricing formulas.
Lastly, consider the funding platform’s success rate. Check how many businesses have been funded on that platform and how much growth they were able to achieve. Some successful businesses eventually “exit” or are acquired by bigger operations.
2. How much should I expect to pay in fees?
Fees depend on the eCommerce funding platform and can vary between packages and brands. The stronger your business is, the more likely that the fees or rates can get smaller.
3. Do eCommerce funding solutions provide startup capital?
Most eCommerce funding platforms do not offer loans for startup capital because there is plenty of uncertainty during these stages. If you’re just starting your eCommerce business, your best bet is to look for more conventional financial services and institutions that can provide startup capital.
4. What’s a good credit score to qualify for eCommerce funding?
It depends on the eCommerce funding solution or company. As we’ve seen, many eCommerce funding platforms don’t follow conventional loan application requirements. 8fig, for instance, doesn’t require collateral, personal guarantees, equity transfer, or credit checks from eCommerce businesses.
5. Is my data safe on funding platforms?
eCommerce funding platforms have data privacy policies and some level of protection measures in place to keep your personal, financial, and other sensitive information secure.
While the security controls and technologies that eCommerce funding platforms use can vary, most use a host of security technologies and implement essential security processes, such as:
- Encryption of data in transit and at rest to help protect sensitive information
- Automated access controls to limit and prevent unauthorized access to confidential data and account information
- Security best practices to ensure protection measures are carried out properly
Reach out to eCommerce funding platforms and ask about their existing security controls that keep your data secure. You can also read their privacy policies to better understand how the eCommerce funding platforms gather, use, disclose, and manage your personal information.
eCommerce funding platforms are becoming a popular option for growing online stores looking to scale their operations. While the idea of securing fresh capital from external sources can be a bit daunting, you should always consider the opportunity that’s available to you and ensure the funding solution:
- Provides a funding structure that suits your specific needs
- Is compatible with your business stage and current revenue
- Offers the most amount of wiggle room for the least amount of costs
Additionally, the best platforms are flexible, trustworthy, and reliable. They’ll help you grow your business sustainably and profitably, as it’s in their best interest for you to succeed.
Gaurav Belani is a Senior SEO and Content Marketing Analyst at The 20 Media, a Content Marketing agency that specializes in data-driven SEO. He has more than seven years of experience in Digital Marketing and loves to write about social media, eCommerce, link building, and content strategy to help clients grow their search visibility. In his spare time, he enjoys watching movies and listening to music. Connect with him on Twitter @belanigaurav.
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