Alternative Lending Case Study | SnapCap

Case Study Jump On The School Bus

After a failed restaurant business venture, Darin and Sierra purchased a school bus and started Jump on the School Bus in 2010. The wine tour and wedding transportation company, a huge success in their native Santa Barbara, California, now operates 14 buses year-round.

  • Loan Amount: $20K
  • Term: 9 Months
  • Use: Expansion & New Equipment
  • Industry: Transportation & Entertainment

The Challenge

Like many small business owners, Darin and Sierra Falso have experienced ups and downs in their entrepreneurial journey. Upon losing their restaurant in 2010, the couple was on the brink of homelessness. Desperately searching for a solution, Sierra thought of purchasing a school bus, renovating it and offering wine tours. “If the idea flops—we can sleep in the bus,” she thought. With little to lose, she and Darin sold their final valuables and purchased their first bus.

The idea was a hit in their hometown of sunny Santa Barbara, CA. “With one bus in one year, we made $100,000,” said Sierra. “Now we have 14 buses operating.” Darin and Sierra expanded their operations as soon as they could to meet their growing customer base, but this left them with minimal free cash flow to cover their operating expenses. “The largest problem with wine and wedding tours is that they’re seasonal,” said Darin. “Our slow season is November to March, which is also when we’re expected to pay a huge generalized liability deposit for each bus. That liability deposit is 25% of our annual policy, a huge chunk of money we must pay during February, which also happens to be one of our slowest months.” With a poor credit score, the couple was at a loss as to how they would pay the deposit. “For three months I was losing sleep,” said Sierra. While the banks recognized the company’s growth and deposits, they immediately disqualified the Falsos for a loan because of their poor personal credit.

Our slow season is November to March, which is also when we're expected to pay a huge generalized liability deposit for each bus. That liability deposit is 25% of our annual policy, a huge chunk of money we must pay during February, which also happens to be one of our slowest months.

The Solution

The Falsos researched alternative lending options online and scheduled a phone meeting with an online lender, but felt uncomfortable with the financing terms. As they kept researching additional options, they eventually found SnapCap. “I immediately sensed SnapCap’s personalized vibe,” said Sierra. “I completed the online questionnaire, received an email immediately and a call soon after that.” After a SnapCap representative explained the entire process over the phone, the Falsos chose to work with them. They both agreed that the process was relatively painless. “[SnapCap] asked for certain documents and other due diligence, all which they conducted very quickly. From beginning to end, the process took one week,” said Darin.

From beginning to end, the process took one week.

The Result

The Falsos obtained a $20,000 loan from SnapCap, paid their large general liability insurance deposit and had enough spare to make some necessary improvements to their buses.

The Falsos had a “stellar” experience with SnapCap and said they would definitely work with SnapCap again in the future if needed. “I like that SnapCap emphasized that they wanted to create a long-term relationship,” said Sierra. “As we build trust, new or future loans will be less expensive. With a business model focused on personalization and rewarding good customers, SnapCap’s doing lending right.”

With a business model focused on personalization and rewarding good customers, SnapCap’s doing lending right.

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