It is no secret that Los Angeles is the land of digital the media revolution. The digital media ecosystem is worth a reported $100 billion, encompassing content publishers, social media markers, next generation creative studios, and ad-tech shops. One LA based company has zoned in on one problem a lot of these companies face: lengthy payment cycles from advertisers. FastPay, founded in 2010 by CEO Jed Simon, is a tech-enabled finance platform that offers credit lines to digital media companies ranging up to $5 million. FastPay recognizes that its clients face cash-flow challenges when scaling quickly. These companies often times bear large up-front costs before receiving payments from their advertisers, which is the bread and butter for most of these companies. Rather than raising venture rounds to cover these costs, FastPay allows their clients to raise the necessary amount of capital to fund their growth while allowing founders to preserve equity in their businesses.
FastPay has raised a reported $30 million to date, a significant portion of that coming from Wells Fargo Capital Finance Group and SF Capital Group. We caught up with CEO and Founder Jed Simon to discuss his evolution from a Hollywood exec to a finance guru.
Name: Jed Simon
Company/Position: FastPay CEO and Founder
Founding Date: January 2010
Education: B.A. Brown University
Entreprenueurial Icon: David Geffen
Words to Live By: You can never go wrong doing the right thing.
Can you give a background of your professional experience before you
I worked for 10 years at DreamWorks SKG in the president’s office, DreamWorks Records, and DreamWorks Pictures (based in London)
What inspired you to start your own company?
I thrive on solving complex problems and have always had an unconventional work style. There was no question I was going to launch my own business – it was really just a matter of when.
How has FastPay grown since 2010? What is one of your most memorable
moments as Founder & CEO?
The most memorable time has been the most challenging. Toward the end of 2011 we had an influx of interested clients and we simply didn’t have the resources to service them (properly!) so we turned down some potentially great deals. As a result we committed to finding strategic institutional partners so we would NEVER EVER experience this problem again. True to our word, in 2012 we aligned ourselves with a multi-billion dollar private equity firm and the strongest institutional lender in commercial finance.
How has FastPay benefitted from being part of the Silicon Beach/LA Tech
We love being a part of the LA tech ecosystem – culturally we connect really well with the businesses down here and – as a former content guy – digital media is in our DNA.
How have you witnessed this ecosystem change over the past few
There have been some changes in the past few years – now there’s greater structure and scale to the ecosystem. It’s quite exciting to witness and experience.
We intend to continue growing our core business and stay 100% focused on keeping our clients ecstatic (keeping them ‘happy’ isn’t enough). We also have a few exciting initiatives we’re exploring so stay tuned…
What advice would you have for entrepreneurs ready to start their own
Do your best to maintain integrity to the very core – treat your employees like your family, your investors like true partners, and deliver value to your customers in excess of your costs.