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New Invoice Finance Platform Launches in Australia




By Guglielmo de Stefano on 11th April 2016


Skippr, an Australian Invoice Finance platform has launched aiming to help small businesses to take control of their cash flow.

 

Skippr hopes that Australian entrepreneurs using its platform will better understand their cash flows and be able to use Skippr’s cash flow management tool to get their invoices paid in advance and continue to run their operations.

 

The platform operates as an invoice-factoring platform. Business owners provide Skippr with information about their companies and their invoices, seamlessly connecting their accounting software to the platform.  Based on the invoice rating and terms of payment, businesses select which invoices they want funded. Once invoices are approved, they elect to sell them when they need additional liquidity.

 

In addition to the classic invoice factoring services, the new start-up offers also a tool that help businesses to forecast their cash flows and their liquidity needs. This tool is specifically useful for cash flow forecasting, live cash tracking and notifications, scenario testing and predictive modelling.

 

The company was founded by CEO, Patrick Crivelli, a finance expert with 10 years experience in fixed income and equity asset management. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Patrick worked as a buy-side analyst and portfolio manager in Australia, Hong Kong and UK. In recent years, he developed an interest in disruptive business models and has been involved in a number of technology start-ups.

 

Crivelli commented:

 

“SMEs are the backbone of our economy, but nearly half will fail as a result of poor cash flow. Empowering SMEs to take control of their finances means more competition, innovation, productivity and growth for Australian businesses.

 

“Skippr’s platform helps SMEs not just access finance, but understand how to better manage it. Our technology provides more transparency and, in turn, more efficiency to all stakeholders involved in the cash flow cycle. This results in better informed business operators and stronger customer relationships. It also creates more opportunity for businesses to tender bigger deals, buy more inventory or negotiate better terms with suppliers.”

 

Botanica Life – an organic cold-press juice company – is one of the first businesses to benefit from Skippr’s services. Nadia Watson, co-Founder of Botanica, offered comment about the company:

 

“Working with Skippr, I now have an additional cash flow lever at my disposal so I can gain discounts from suppliers and hold longer terms with customers. While this strengthens our supplier and customer relationships it also enables us to take bigger orders from bigger businesses that usually take longer to pay.”

 

Although the Australian invoice financing market is at the very start of its journey, the number of platforms down under is soaring rapidly. A couple of months ago, AltFi put the spotlight on major players – Waddle, Marketlend, Timelio, FundX and InvoiceX – highlighting their key features. We also wrote about The Invoice Market (tim), an invoice-discounting company that recently announced several updates, including a new brand, a new website and a significant upgrade to its online client and funder platform. Timelio was recently awarded the “Game Changer of the Year Award” sponsored by Visa and the “Overall Award for Outstanding Excellence” sponsored by Optus at the OPTUS My Business Awards in Sydney.

 

It’s interesting to note that in the UK where single invoice financing has been around for 5 years still only has two big players – (MarketInvoice and Platform Black), with the recent addition of a minor third one, by the name of Funding Invoice. Volumes, particularly outstanding principal, remain small in comparison to the wider market.

 

The high number of recent platform launches in the Australian invoice finance space would seem to indicate that a gap in the market has been spotted. Is the space now overcrowded? Can all of these platforms capitalise on that gap? Will some fall by the wayside? Are there more platforms launches in the pipe? Watch this space. 

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