Meka Robotics, founded by Aaron Edsinger and Jeff Weber, is a San Francisco-based robotics company. Opportunity Fund invested in the business in 2010, providing $60,000 in working capital. This past August, they paid off their remaining balance on the loan. Today, we learned why: Google acquired Meka Robotics, as reported in The New York Times!
"It isn't every day you do a loan to a robot company," notes Opportunity Fund Underwriter Tim Hatfield. "So, yeah, I remember working with Aaron and Jeff. They're really cool guys."
Indeed, Meka Robotics is not Opportunity Fund's typical borrower. With loans ranging from $2,500 - $100,000, our average loan is about $10,000. So this was six time bigger than typical loans. But it's why we're here: To offer a hand-up at the right time. Eighty three percent (83%) of "Opportunity Funded" businesses are minority-owned, and the owners' average household income is just $25,000.
"Someone once described what we do as 'VC in the hood'," said CEO Eric Weaver. "We aren't looking for businesses that will go on to necessarily make millions; they usually provide a good income for the owner, their families, and their employees. And business ownership can be a better option than low-wage employment. Entrepreneurship remains one of the proven pathways to economic mobility in California."
Today is a pretty exciting day at the Meka Robotics headquarters. And we're pretty thrilled here at Opportunity Fund, too. Congrats, you guys!