Trade finance for importers
Charlotte Petris conceived online invoice-trading marketplace Timelio to help companies boost their cash flow. Husband Andrew’s skillset made him the ideal founding partner.
By Carolyn Boyd
1+1 reproduced in full from Acuity Magazine (February 2018 Issue)
KPMG have released their final ‘Pulse of Fintech’ report for 2017. The Q4’17 report shows that whilst global fintech investment started off slowly, the year closed out strong, with c.$31 billion globally.
Australian construction, both public and private, has seen strong growth. However, the availability of credit, particularly to smaller sub-contractors, has contracted and remains expensive. Working capital is the lifeblood of anyone running a small business and remains frozen. Coupled with high finance costs, this puts financial strain on the entire supply chain.
As a small business owner, making sure you have the right people in the right place will be one the biggest challenges standing between you and success. As the core of your business, your employees engage every facet of your operation, and as such, are a crucial part of it. Being such a large part of the business means they’re also one of your biggest associated costs. It’s important you make the right call when deciding to employ your people on a casual, contract or part-time or full-time basis.
According to Time magazine citing a study by financial planning software company Learnvest, men are five times more likely to invest than women. While the number of female investors is on the rise, due in part to the availability of online investment, the opportunity for women to invest is greater than it ever has been.
90 billion dollars. That’s how much cash businesses from Australia and New Zealand currently have trapped on balance sheets, according to a recent survey by PWC. That’s a staggering amount, and represents a huge opportunity. So much so, that, if the poorest performing companies in the study were to bring their working capital performance in line with their industry peers, they would have enough cash to more than double their capital investment without access to additional funding, or putting excess pressure on cash flow.
The Melbourne invoice finance marketplace Timelio, which is backed by Alex Waislitz’s Thorney Investment Group, is set up for a capital raising next year after striking a supply chain finance (SCF) partnership with the residential and commercial builder Icon.
Cash flow is king in any business, and it’s no different for subcontractors. It comes as no surprise then that the most common reason that subcontracting businesses fail is that they run out of cash. This happens most often because, while they’re good builders, some contractors are not good at running a small business, and can often leave the financial side of operations unattended. Add to this the expectation that most subcontractors are expected to float a project’s costs and you have a recipe for disaster. I’ve looked at this and the other main reasons subcontractors have traditionally failed.
As an SME, accessing short-term or flexible finance options can be a struggle. Banks can make getting finance almost impossible with rigorous terms and length of time to process, private lenders can cost a fortune in interest, while credit cards can lead to masses of debt and exacerbate the problem. These can be particularly difficult for those SME’s who rely on business with large corporate clients who are often dictating the payment terms.