When Billy Libby and Seamless co-founder Jason Finger launched Upper90 in 2018, they wanted to solve a problem: founders giving up too much equity too early because they needed money to build capital-intensive businesses. They thought if they wrote checks that combined debt and equity, founders could get the capital they needed while keeping more of their equity.
So far, they’ve seen demand. Over the past four years, that strategy helped the firm back startups including Amazon aggregators Thrasio and Elevate Brands, in addition to supply chain startups like Beacon. Now that equity is getting increasingly expensive as investors deploy more conservatively after last year’s fever. Libby told TechCrunch he thinks Upper90’s strategy will become more useful to founders than ever.