Small Business

What’s the sound of opportunity knocking? A case study on Philosophie

Philosophie Group is a one-of-a-kind company. But cofounder Skot Carruth experienced a problem that’s unfortunately all too common for small business owners: his bootstrapped business was growing and his clients were begging for more, but his young business’ pockets weren’t yet deep enough to cover the down payment for a new office space.

Philosophie’s dilemma inspired one of the great philosophical questions of our time: if opportunity comes knocking, and no one is around to hear it, did it ever happen?

It’s been almost eight years since Skot Carruth launched Philosophie Group with his UCLA classmate, Emerson Taymor. “When we started, we were just two designer-developers making websites. But over time those websites became complex pieces of software, and we started to realize the value in being able to make things,” Skot recalls.

They soon hired veteran CPA, Jerry Signori, as their CFO. He helped them make sound financial decisions, and they leapt over the infamous 18 month hurdle that thwarts most tech startups. Philosophie expanded into two geographies and maintained profitability with offices in both Los Angeles and New York City.

Philosophie_in-text_1080px-Emerson-Skot

“We started the business with lint in our pockets and great ambitions.” -Jerry Signori

They found talented visual designers, software engineers, and product strategists to join their company, but the more people they brought in, the more crammed their offices became. “Our New York office continued to grow and we just could not operate any more…it was bursting at the seams,” Skot says.

One of Philosophie’s key selling points is the direct access they provide to their designers and developers — clients can literally sit with the people who are creating the custom software solutions for their company. But with so many people in the New York office, there wasn’t enough room to bring in important clients. With new contracts in the wings, Philosophie needed a new office, and they needed it fast.

Philosophie_in-text_1080px_three_founders

The founders found the perfect location for a new office. It was close to their clients and it had plenty of meeting rooms and creative thinking space for innovative developers. The rent was even affordable, which was especially surprising for a city like New York.

The catch? The lease required a full year’s rent as a down payment.

The catch? The lease required a full year’s rent as a down payment.

“When you’re growing a business organically, you’re very tight with cash,” Jerry says. “We had a wonderful opportunity that we would have lost if we hadn’t been able to act quickly and decisively.”

According to Jerry, it was an extremely fortunate coincidence he received a letter in the mail from Funding Circle the same day they found the new office space. He was skeptical at first, but he knew a traditional bank loan would take too long, and short-term lenders would charge too much.

“In less than one week from start to finish, Funding Circle solved our problem.” -Jerry Signori

“What I didn’t expect was how quickly they would do their part,” Jerry says about his experience working with Funding Circle. He started an application and received a phone call almost immediately from his account manager.

“Kathryn answered all of my questions extremely professionally and clearly explained the terms of our offer,” Jerry smiles. “It took approximately one week from our original request to have money in the bank. That enabled us to secure our new New York office.”

Philosophie_in-text_1080px-couch-feet

Philosophie was approved for a $300,000 loan over 36 months. They moved into their new space and soon landed a project with one of the most prestigious accounting firms in the city. Within a year, Philosophie was producing enough revenue to pay down the principal on their loan. Because Funding Circle never charges any prepayment penalties, Philosophie saved money by paying back the rest of their loan early.

“We knew we could cover the rent from our cash flow, but we didn’t have all the money for the deposit up front,” Skot explains. Philosophie recently opened a third office in San Francisco, and the next time opportunity comes knocking, Jerry knows where he’s going to turn for financing.

“I know what I’m talking about. I’m a CPA, I’ve been in business for a long time, and I’ve already done all of the homework. Give the folks at Funding Circle a call.”

Whether you’re growing too quickly or not fast enough, affordable capital from Funding Circle can help you reach the next level.

Check your eligibility Learn more

[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]
[PDF]

Send this to a friend