ApplePie Capital, the first online lender solely dedicated to the franchise industry, today announced the appointment of franchise industry veteran Ronald Feldman as chief development officer, as well as the acquisition of Funding Solutions, LLC, a well-established national franchise lending consultancy that specializes in SBA, conventional and equipment finance loans. Feldman and Funding Solutions’ managing partner Randy Jones will join ApplePie’s leadership team.
These additions position ApplePie’s financial platform to exponentially expand upon its hallmarks of speed, flexibility and efficiency with new product options, an expanded network of lending sources and an extraordinary wealth of franchise finance expertise for its growing list of franchisor partners. Currently, ApplePie serves more than 40 franchisors including Orangetheory Fitness, Jimmy John’s, Jersey Mike’s and Marco’s Pizza.
“These developments are a game changer for ApplePie and the brands we serve,” says Denise Thomas, CEO and co-founder of ApplePie. “In addition to the decades of franchise finance experience we are bringing on board to accelerate new product innovation, we can now provide comprehensive lending programs to franchisors, eliminating the need for their franchisees to engage with multiple lenders.” Thomas continued, “By combining the $500 million in committed capital we’ve raised for our core growth product with a diverse lender network, we can ensure that our franchisee clients have access to the right financial solutions, wherever they are in their development cycle.“
Responsible for growing ApplePie’s brand portfolio and contributing to product strategy, Ronald Feldman comes to the company with more than 20 years of experience in franchise leadership and franchise financing. He previously served as chief development officer at FranData, the industry leader in market research, and as a principal and co-founder of Franchise America Finance (FAF) and The Siegel Financial Group. Feldman was also an early franchisee of The Goddard School system. As an active advocate of the franchising business model, Feldman currently serves the International Franchise Association (IFA) as chair of the Supplier Forum Advisory Board and sits on both the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the association. Feldman was awarded the Sid Feltenstein MVP Award for service to the IFA’s Political Action Committee (FRANPAC) in 2013.
“ApplePie is uniquely positioned to transform franchise finance by using technology and franchise data in new and innovative ways to make financing simple and predictable,” says Feldman. “They also truly understand what drives growth and work backwards from the needs of franchisors to develop custom solutions for their franchisees. I am thrilled to bring my expertise to ApplePie and help build on the momentum they have created in just a few short years.”
Funding Solutions, LLC is a six-person franchise loan consulting firm based in Michigan that has connected thousands of franchisees with SBA, conventional and equipment loans since 1999. The Funding Solutions brand is merging into the ApplePie brand, allowing ApplePie to add deep industry knowledge to its team and more comprehensively address the needs of franchisees.
Randy Jones, managing partner of Funding Solutions, will serve as ApplePie’s new head of originations. Jones says, “Our team couldn’t be more excited to join ApplePie. Their values are aligned with ours, their franchisor-centric approach to doing business mirrors our own, and by combining forces and leveraging their technology and access to capital markets, we can provide a superior experience for the franchisors and franchisees we serve.”
“What we find most exciting about this news is the vision that ApplePie has for making financing more efficient for our franchisees,” says Dave Long, CEO and co-founder, Orangetheory Fitness. “My franchisees need a lender that understands our business and the unique needs of our franchisees, and ApplePie has set their sights high to achieve that goal.”
Since it started lending in January 2015, ApplePie has formed partnerships with 43 franchise brands, funded over $65 million in loans and returned over $12 million in principal and interest to investors.