New investments will fuel ApplePie’s growth and its transformation of franchise finance
San Francisco, December 12, 2016 – ApplePie Capital, the first online lender solely dedicated to the franchise industry, today announced that it has entered into a $180 million loan purchase agreement with TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. (TowerBrook) to purchase franchise loans originated by ApplePie over a two-year period. Funding will come from TowerBrook’s Structured Opportunities Fund and a credit facility provided by SunTrust Banks, Inc. (NYSE: STI). The TowerBrook relationship will enable ApplePie to further strengthen its position as a leading provider of innovative growth financing for the franchise industry.
ApplePie simultaneously announced a $16.5 million Series B round, co-led by QED Investors and Fifth Third Capital, the direct equity investment subsidiary of Fifth Third Bancorp. QED Investors follows its previous investments in ApplePie’s Seed and Series A rounds, while Fifth Third Capital is expected to add significant strategic value and open up new opportunities for growth. Previous investors participating in the Series B include Signia Venture Partners, Freestyle Capital, and Prosper president Ron Suber. Also participating in the round is Colchis Capital Management, L.P., a prominent investor in the online lending space.
“At our core, we are a growth delivery system for the franchise industry,” said Denise Thomas, ApplePie CEO and co-founder. “We unlock value for our franchise brand partners by providing capital to their franchisees, which helps brands grow.” Thomas continued, “The investments announced today will allow us to scale and dramatically advance our mission of transforming franchise finance, while providing TowerBrook with unprecedented access to high-quality credits in proven small businesses.”
As part of the agreement with TowerBrook, ApplePie also announced the addition of Tim Morris, former Chief Risk Officer of GE Capital Franchise Finance, as a strategic advisor to the firm. Tim spent over 25 years at GE Capital, a leading franchise lender specializing in financing mid-market operators in the restaurant industry.