Fifth Third Bank Signs Deal with ApplePie Capital

Fifth Third Bancorp is backing startup online lender, ApplePie Capital, which extends credit to people starting franchises of chains such as Dunkin’ Donuts and 7-Eleven, according to the two financial companies.

Cincinnati-based Fifth Third is taking an equity stake, as part of a $16.5 million venture round this month, and exploring potential purchases of loans from ApplePie, of San Francisco, which started extending credit less than two years ago. The exact terms of Fifth Third’s investment couldn’t be determined.

ApplePie has made 120 loans for about $50 million since the beginning of 2015. It works closely with chain brands to underwrite people who want to open new franchise locations. It also refinances existing franchise locations, to enable the owners to open more stores.