Revenue Based Financing
“The first quarter was actually kind of slow, like abnormally slow,” said Daniel Dias, founder of Small Business Lending Source, a brokerage based in San Diego. “We came off actually a record-breaking year last year. First quarter this year turned out slow and then it was kind of weird. Maybe it was owners who are hesitant to see what’s going on because there’s a lot of uncertainty in the market.”
Dias says things changed dramatically in Q2, however, to the point of setting yet again a new record. And the momentum only continued into Q3.
“This quarter is actually turning out really well,” he said.
It’s also going really well for Greenbox Capital, a small business funding company based in Miami.
“Q3 has been our best quarter this year,” said Jordan Fein, Greenbox’s CEO. “We positioned the company well over the last 8 months, ready for whatever the economy throws our way. We are running lean and growing again.”
Greenbox began to tighten its credit policies late last year, according to Fein and by continuing this strategy into 2023, it has allowed the company to evolve. “Our momentum has been building ever since we tightened credit and refined our spending in Q4 2022,” Fein said.
Optimism is also in the air at The LCF Group, a small business funding company based on Long Island. “Navigating Q3 and approaching Q4, we anticipate our positive trajectory to continue given the consistent demand from merchants,” said Andy Parker, LCF’s CEO. “Despite certain sectors of the economy facing challenges and the appearance of recession indicators, we’ve adapted our underwriting to reflect these conditions without any major tightening of our guidelines.”
LCF recently announced that it had acquired key strategic assets from Reliant Funding.
Javier Alvarez Wrobel and Juan Cruz Alvarez Wrobel, brothers from Argentina, have worked in the lending business together for years. They’re even co-founders of a company that’s based in Buenos Aires.
It’s taught them a lot. While Americans fret over single digit inflation, Argentina’s rate of inflation soared past 100% earlier this year, the highest rate since it began dramatically increasing in 2018. That makes it very challenging to lend in the country.
“Due to the recent complicated economic situation, lots of lending companies in Argentina have closed,” said Javier. “I’d say there are only around 30 to 40 companies in the country doing what we do right now.”
For a population that largely also has little or no credit history, credit reports generally can’t be relied upon to approve loans at scale.
“That is why a lot of the underwriting in Argentina, when people request a loan, is made based on the cash movements on the consumers bank accounts,” said Javier.
That’s what they learned how to do. And with such a skillset as theirs, they were intrigued to learn that a similar model had taken off in the United States, one where business owners can get approved for funding based on data mostly available in their bank statements, revenue-based financing. The result was an expansion to the US and their launch of Upfunding Capital in Miami, FL in 2022. There, they teamed up with a third co-founder named Paula Sborovsky, who previously worked in Entre Ríos, a province directly north of Buenos Aires that sits along the border of Uruguay.
In the process, they’ve established a niche, a clientele mostly made up of immigrant business owners that have an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) but not a social security number. The thin credit or lack of credit that may come with that is something they’re already used to.
“As we work with the Latino community, most of our clients are actually non-US citizens or at least not US born,” Javier said.
Javier said that the best and most reliable information they use for approvals is the way business owners conduct transactions on a day-to-day basis. Nevertheless, the company is pacing itself, testing out its technology and its underwriting models. Upfunding hopes to ramp up its volume in the second half of this year.
The work so far has been personally rewarding for the Upfunding team.
“It’s amazing to see,” said Javier, “for example, I got the chance to speak to a guy that is actually Argentinian living [in the US], trying to sell shoes, and seeing that we can actually offer a product for them to improve their own business that’s just starting out, for us is amazing because we are actually doing the same right now.”
Are you in the biz of funding small biz? Listen to these execs tell you how to make it work!
Effective Broker Training
Successful Digital Marketing With Zack Fiddle
Measuring the Impact of Technology on Your Funding Business With Adam Schwartz
Building a Successful Funding Brokerage With Frankie DiAntonio
Add Virginia to the list of states introducing initiatives to codify disclosures in commercial finance. Virginia House Bill 1027 is aimed squarely at “sales-based financing providers.”
The Virginia bill calls for an estimated APR to be disclosed on sales-based financing contracts using methods conceived in New York’s recent legislation.
As has been witnessed, however, New York’s regulators recently discovered weaknesses in their own law.
The Virginia bill is in its very early stages. It was introduced on Wednesday, January 12th by Delegate Kathy K.L. Tran (D).