I am the owner of a website that distributes digital content (photo/ footage/ music) for the film, interactive and media industries.
We launched four years ago and are among the market leaders in a niche of our field. We have 650K registered users and revenue doubling every year (in the mid six figures at the moment).
We want to grow, and this can be done by expanding into vertical niches but also by acquiring competitors and content. We need cash, but I don't like the idea of giving equity to an investor. I enjoy the freedom and total control and I think that partners can complicate things.
I 've invested a few hundred thousand dollars from family money and taken out a loan for 130K USD (put a small apartment as collateral). Although I 'm doing fine with repaying it, I can't get another loan for now through banks until I repay this one in four years.
Therefore, I have thought that a good way to grow would be to get a loan from an individual.
I have three main questions:
1) Have you heard about this happening? How does it work usually?
2) The company is based in the E.U. Do you think this complicates things for U.S. investors and/ or scares them away?