A common issue that I see with Direct Funders that are promoting their business, especially newer ones, is that they don't have enough of a presence online which includes social media sites like LinkedIn. LinkedIn has grown immensely over the last 5 years since the Microsoft acquisition. Revenue has nearly tripled, and growth has accelerated to the tune of $10 Billion in Revenue in Q4 FY21, the first time reaching that mark for a quarter. Merchants and all types of referral partners look you up and review your company to decide if they want to work with you.
Part of our process for adding companies to our Funder List is to research the companies before we add them. With many new Funders entering the market, if we are not familiar with the funding company then we go through more steps like requesting a copy of an ISO agreement and contract.
Of course, having a website, not even necessarily of high quality, is where everything begins. Funders that are so small or working only behind the scenes that do not have a website are not a company that should be trusted, with very few exceptions.
One of the main reasons LinkedIn is so valuable for validating your business is that it links your business to at least one employee, as opposed to most Funder websites. When viewing the LinkedIn company page you can see who is connected to the company. This adds instant credibility, heightens the sense of professionalism as well as provides an incentive for all to keep the company name in good standing. Even with newer funding companies, there is no excuse to not have a LinkedIn page because it takes very little time to create one.
What we will do while researching any Funder is look for links to their social media on their website. Most of the time Funders do have them but many of their websites aren't correctly set up to connect to their company profiles or pages, which is another indicator of quality and professionalism. This applies to ISOs/brokers as well, after reviewing thousands of websites.
If we can’t find the LinkedIn page from the website, we would search the company directly on LinkedIn. Once we find them, we then review all their information including who works for them, how often the company page posts, and any other relevant information that would give credibility to that funder. The more information and engagement the better.
This type of research is used in a similar fashion by funders and other financial providers in underwriting. When a business has a highly engaged online presence, it adds to the credibility of the business. This will only grow from here as DeFi, Web3 and the metaverse become more prevalent and mainstream.
Your company's digital assets are the future whether you are active with procuring them or not. Increase them, protect them, bring value to them, and give your business the staying power it needs to compete. One way to do that is by making your presence known on LinkedIn.