Debtor financier and cash flow management fintech Skippr has said that it will be focusing on the broker channel following a $16 million funding round to help drive its expansion.
Founded in July 2015 by former NAB corporate agri-banking banker Alistair Lamond and former HSBC Hong Kong fund manager Patrick Crivelli, Skippr comprises two elements: a cash flow management tool and debt finance solutions.
According to Mr Lamond, it is the cash flow element of the platform that he believes will be a calling card for brokers.
The tool can plug into an SME’s cloud accounting software to help the user “visualise their short-term cash flow”, predict cash flow moving forward and better understand how they can manage cash flow better.
Further, the co-founders said that this live connection with the cloud accounting software makes it easier for brokers to refer clients as there is “little to no paperwork” required in sign up. Skippr added that offers can then be provided quickly, and the customer can be managed through the platform.
Speaking to The Adviser, Mr Lamond elaborated: “Our main focus is building out more relationships with more commercial brokers. And we think Skippr is the right tool for brokers as it means they can help their clients to better understand the advantages of debtor finance, but they are also able to give the clients additional insight into how their business is performing by using the cash flow tool as a sort of advisory product as well. They can have all of that early intervention and building that rapport and relationship with the client, using the cash flow insights. So, we want to engage more brokers using this tool to not only help them originate more finance for their clients but also better engage their clients.
“Plus, it really just makes the onboarding and referral process far more seamless. We're taking out a lot of the traditional friction that comes with originating that deal for the broker, which is a win-win for both the customer and the broker. And it hopefully means that there will be a more sustainable relationship with all three parties as well.”
The co-founder added that another aspect of the platform that he believed would be a boon for brokers is the fact that the pricing and payment structure is transparent, which he said was a pain point for many SMEs.
“I would say that that is one important piece within any lending, pricing needs to be palatable and understandable for the end customers and in noting that we have tried to keep our pricing structure very simple and that is reflected also in the delivery of the product as well.
“The thing that differentiates our finance products compared with the traditional funders is the simplicity of our pricing structure.
“There are two layers; we charge a draw down fee, and that is charged against the amount drawn only each time a customer draws down finance with us. Typically, that is between 1 and 1.5 per cent. Then, we charge an interest rate which is on the outstanding balance, and that is typically about 14 per cent.”
Mr Lamond said that while Skippr currently deals directly with brokers, it is “very much keen to extend its relationship with brokers” and join aggregator panels once it “builds out, deploy[s] more capital and deploy[s] more track record”.
Earlier this month, Skippr completed a funding round comprising $1 million in equity from investors and $15 million in debt.
The investors are predominantly from institutional banking or asset management, and include the co-founder and former CEO of Pepper Group Patrick Tuttle, co-founder of SocietyOne Andy Taylor and former managing director at JPMorgan James Beeson.
Mr Beeson is now a director of the fintech, while Mr Taylor and Mr Tuttle are both advisors to the lender.
Mr Lamond said that the fintech’s goal is to provide around $40 million worth of lending to SMEs over the next 12 months and have more than 1,000 users of the platform.
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