It’s almost that time of year.

The 2017 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards is a competition to showcase the companies with the most impressive technology that are paving the future in financial services and capital markets.

To get you prepared for this year’s awards, Benzinga will profile each fintech company that has applied. Want to get involved? Submit your company here. For this installment, we spoke with SmartBiz’s Suzanne Robertson. (Answers have been edited for length/clarity.)

SmartBiz

What does your company do? What unique problem does it solve?

SmartBiz Loans is the No. 1 online marketplace for SBA loans. We offer fast, low cost SBA loans to small businesses across America and partner with banks to improve their profits and approval rates.

In essence, the SmartBiz online software platform systematizes and automates SBA loan underwriting and origination, while the marketplace increases business owners’ likelihood of approval. The platform doesn’t just benefit business owners; SmartBiz helps reduce banks’ processing costs by 70 percent.

Who are your customers?

SmartBiz works with small business owners across the United States who have been in business at least two years. We also strive to help the efforts of women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses.

How long have you been in business?

SmartBiz Loans was founded in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis.

We grew out of the 2008 financial crisis when “too big to fail” banks could not provide funding small businesses needed. This left a funding gap of hundreds of billions of dollars. Because banks could not efficiently fund small business loans, the small business owner paid the price — literally!

Where are you located?

SmartBiz Loans is located in San Francisco’s Financial District.

Who is your company’s leadership?

  • Founders: Ryan Gilbert and Sean O’Malley.
  • Team: Experienced financial services entrepreneurs.
  • CEO: Evan Singer, who has broad experience in financial services and consumer industries.
  • Backing: Leading venture capital firms including Investor Growth Capital, Venrock, First Round Capital, Baseline Ventures and SoftTech VC.

Is there anything else Benzinga should know about your company?

  • Awarded “Best SBA Loan Provider” in the nation by both Fit Small Business and Top Ten Reviews in 2016, beating out traditional banks including Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.
  • No. 1 provider of traditional SBA 7(a) loans under $ 350,000 for FY 2016, marking the first time a tech platform rather than a bank has ever held that distinction.
  • Ranked as one of the 125 Best Places to Work in the Bay Area 2016.

For another fintech profile, click here to read about how investors monitor their own performance with EquityStat.

If you’re looking for cool fintech startups and access to top financial institutions, and are sick of attending stuffy corporate conferences, the Benzinga Global Fintech Awards is the event for you. From its first year in 2015, the competition grew to over 250 applicants and over 500 attendees in 2016.

Connect with us on social media — use the hashtag #BZAwards and #Fintech to spread the word!

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