We launched Lead Prosper in early 2020, but we’re already humbled by the contributions we’ve been able to make to our customers’ businesses. As a small lead distribution platform competing with some of the Goliaths in the space, we believe that our relationships with customers help us stand out from the crowd. Every so often we’ll take a moment to check in with a few of them, hear about their journeys, and see how their experience has been with our platform.
Getting Giggle Off the Ground
This time around, we’re catching up with Mike Zevallos and Jared Kogan, founders of Giggle Finance. Mike and Jared started Giggle when they saw that most workers in the gig economy still didn’t have easy access to capital. These rideshare drivers, Etsy sellers, Fiverr vendors, and a slew of other freelancers and consultants are projected to account for more than half the labor force by 2024, but they’re largely left out when it comes to business financing options.
Jared points out that “The top 10% of the market might qualify for a lending club or a personal loan product, but the bottom 90% of the market doesn’t really have a good option—so they end up with something like a payday loan.” Payday loans are small, high-interest loans that are a particularly risky option for borrowers because they have to be paid off quickly. If the loan isn’t paid off in the given time period, usually two weeks, many borrowers end up extending the term of the loan for an additional fee and starting the cycle over again.
Research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that the median cost of a payday loan is $23.53 for every $100 borrowed, which equates to a staggering 613% APR. Mike and Jared felt that no one should have to rely on these loans for urgent business expenses, so they set out to create a working capital financing solution for the gig economy and independent contractors.
The duo brought a wealth of FinTech experience to the table for their new endeavor, which helped them create a streamlined product that was incredibly easy to use. “We launched a fully automated platform where a customer can go from an application to money in their bank account in under eight minutes. We wanted speed, efficiency, and the ability to scale.” Once they had a product, however, they still had to find the users who could benefit from it.
First Leads, Then Prosper
As Jared recalls, “When Mike and I started, we had familiarity with customer acquisition, but we didn’t have much experience in the lead gen space.” The two recognized they needed help, and they started researching the various options in the market. It was a lengthy process, and they were getting frustrated. According to Mike, “We interviewed with four or five different lead management systems out there, but they were all either too expensive or lacked the software capabilities we were looking for. Most were also almost entirely focused on lead sellers, which didn’t make much sense for us as a buyer. Lead Prosper was just getting up and running, but we were lucky enough to stumble onto them a few pages down in the search results, and their platform delivered what we needed at a great value.”
We may never know what Jared was doing on page three of the Google results (seriously dude, who does that?), but we’re grateful for the opportunity to help them improve access to capital for a huge portion of the workforce. Giggle’s customers are people we rely on every day, like an Uber driver who recently needed to replace the transmission in his car. He needed $800 for the repair, but with his primary source of income out of commission, he was looking at renting a car for an additional $500 per week while he saved up the cash—until he came across Giggle. He got his money in minutes and was back in his car the next day, all without having to pay a huge portion of his income for a rental vehicle or take out a predatory payday loan.
A Leader in Lead Gen
Giggle launched their platform in September 2020, and Lead Prosper was instrumental in helping the founders quickly acquire their first 100 customers to get the business up and running. Jared acknowledges the lift, saying “Had we not gone with Lead Prosper, I think it would’ve taken us a lot longer to get ourselves where we currently are, and that ramp up would’ve been much slower. They really helped explain the whole process to us, from both a tech and a logistics/operations perspective.”
Mike agrees, highlighting two features that make the Lead Prosper product stand out: “Their UI, because it makes it super easy for us to operate and manage our business, and their support. They’ve been a tremendous help when we were out of our depth, coding custom scripts for us and getting us up and running. They’ve also made some key introductions to people they thought could be relevant to us, and that’s the extra level of attention and support that I don’t think you’ll get from some of the 800-pound gorillas in the marketplace.”
To Mike and Jared and the entire team at Giggle—we’ve really enjoyed working with you, and we look forward to supporting you and your company on your way to the moon!