(Sept 4): For small and medium-sized enterprises, a single delayed payment from a customer can mean a major dent in cash flows. Invoice crowdfunding start-up Validus Capital thinks it has a good solution to this problem.
Two-year-old Validus has partnered Visa to launch a “virtual card solution” that gives SMEs credit in exchange for their invoices. Each SME is given a monthly credit limit and can draw on this credit by putting an invoice up for funding on the Validus platform. Validus says it has about 50 accredited investors on its platform, which consistently fund these invoices within an hour.
“We do not cherry-pick which invoices to finance, which makes us quite different from the banks [and other invoice crowdfunding platforms],” says Vikas Nahata, co-founder of Validus. “We can approve SMEs within 48 business hours on average. Then, we offer to finance all their receivables at a rate that is more expensive than the banks but cheaper than their alternative options such as money lenders.” The start-up charges SMEs an interest rate of 10% to 18% a year, depending on how risky the business is.