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With SBA business loan, bootstrapped tech startup grows while retaining 100% equity, company control

October 3, 2018 | Small Business Loans
With SBA business loan, bootstrapped tech startup grows while retaining 100% equity, company control, CDC Small Business

Self reliance and resourcefulness are personal qualities that West African-born serial entrepreneur Ousmane Condé knows intimately.

From his childhood days of seeing his mother work 70-plus hour weeks in poverty-stricken Guinea to founding his first company in France at age 18 — the Long Beach, Calif. resident understands the stamina needed to achieve and retain what you want, as a business owner.

Entrepreneurship, he said, “is embedded in my DNA.”  

So after bootstrapping tech company Xoomdat and watching it soar, he wanted to run the company under his own terms, without outside investors for as long as possible.

To make that happen while eyeing growth, Condé got an SBA business loan through CDC Small Business Finance to take the company to greater heights. As he came to discover, CDC isn’t just a small business lender, it’s also an ally focused on helping you succeed pre- and post-financing.

“It was a very unique opportunity to work with CDC,” Condé said. “It’s not just some bank that gives you a loan and they say, ‘Bye-bye.’ They are personally invested to help you succeed.”

Condé — whose recent distinctions include being an exhibitor at the 2018 Forbes’ 30 Under 30 event and making the Top 20 list of promising big-data firms by CIO Review — delved into his trust in CDC and the wild ride that’s brought him here.

‘I’m not scared of jumping off the cliff’

With no running electricity or clean water in many rural areas, the west African nation of Guinea is among the poorest in the world. These harsh conditions and dearth of opportunity prompt many to become entrepreneurs to survive, from selling bottled water to homemade food.

His own mother and grandmother, Condé recounts, followed that very path to provide for their families. From an early age, he knew he wanted to take control of his own future by starting and running his own thriving enterprise.

Related: How An SBA Loan Helped Startup Keep 100% Of Their Equity — And Why That Mattered

“Entrepreneurship just comes naturally to me,” he said. “I’m not scared of jumping off the cliff; I’ll find a way to fly even if I don’t have wings.”

In a span of 10 years, the 29-year-old wunderkind has founded two companies, earned two college degrees and several certifications, and named a Google scholar twice. Now he’s got his sights on taking his startup, Xoomdat, to the next level.

Startup’s creation inspired by Google’s ‘significant flaw’

The idea for Xoomdat originated when Condé lived in France. While Google is an all-around useful search engine, he realized it has one significant flaw. The vast majority of the search results we see, he said, are not in real time.

In other words, the information we get after pressing ‘search’ can be days old. This can be a major problem for say, a financial institution, which needs precise, real-time data to make investing decisions, Condé explained. Another issue with Google is that the best answer to your question may be buried way past Page 1, a destination from which online users rarely budge.

Related: Don’t know where to start? Visit our all-in-one Learn Hub

Enter Xoomdat, which officially launched in 2016. Over the last two years, Condé has developed a search platform powered by a patent-pending algorithm that can help a wide range of companies — from financial firms to police departments – obtain the exact, up-to-date information they need to run their businesses effectively.

He’s already helping a San Diego-based hedge fund retrieve the most updated bankruptcy filings to help inform its investment decisions. And Condé’s former employer, Boeing, is testing his technology to monitor what people are saying in real-time about the aerospace company on social media platforms. Xoomdat’s capabilities are far-reaching; they can also be applied to real-time crime tracking.

He’s also developing a B2C, or business to consumer, side of the company, allowing consumers to more effectively search online events and ticketing platforms.

Startup financing: ‘CDC’s advisors … put a lot of trust in us’

Condé takes pride in the fact he built Xoomdat from the ground up without outside investors. And he wants to keep it that way for as long as he can. He’s seen promising startups all too eager to get investors on board, only to end up losing 90 percent of their company in a few years. It’s a position he doesn’t want to see himself in.

With that and growth in mind, he turned to CDC Small Business Finance for affordable startup financing. By working with CDC, he later learned, you’re getting startup financing with a side of free business coaching.

Marsel Watts, one of CDC’s senior business advisors, has volunteered her time to help Condé get loan-ready and with his post-loan needs. She’s helped with everything from retooling his business projections to refining his business plan. They still meet for in-person coaching sessions.

Related: How free business coaching from nonprofit can help you increase odds of getting a business loan

Getting the SBA loan through CDC has helped both his business and personal life, Condé said. With the added capital, he was able to hire more staff, allowing him to spend more time with his family, namely his partner and her daughter.

“It really means a lot to us,” Condé said. “CDC’s advisors really trusted our (business) and put a lot of trust in us.”

Do you see glimmers of yourself and your business in Ousmane’s inspirational story? CDC Small Business Finance, a leading lender and nonprofit, can help. We offer several loan options, from startup financing to commercial real estate loans. 

Tell our loan experts about your business, and they’ll work to match you with a financing plan that best suits you.

Let’s talk! Reach us at loaninfo@cdcloans.com or (619) 243-8667.

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