Finturi hit a major milestone today turning two! We started two years ago to provide SMEs (Small and medium sized enterprises) with easy access to working capital with a team of 7 people in the Hague and today we have grown to a team of 12+ people across three different countries, and we’re focused more than ever on defining the future of SME Finance.
Finturi was created to facilitate SME’s accessing short term working capital. We found that it is difficult for businesses to raise working capital. Traditional alternatives for raising finance involve multiple parties, making it an expensive, paper-heavy, and time-consuming process. More-over, the high operational costs make it difficult for these parties to finance smaller amounts. We realized that creating a platform that connects SME’s with financers using state-of-the-art technologies including Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning algorithms could drastically reduce operational costs and time required for getting finance and therewith offering each SME fair chances on the capital markets, and thus Finturi was born.
Security and Automation
Security and automation have been the core of the Finturi product right from the beginning. We realized the future of finance must focus on these two main aspects. Hence our product has multiple aspects which make it more secure. We use blockchain technology and Artificial Intelligence.
Every user has a mobile wallet application that also is used to approve every transaction that is done. To do this in a secure manner we use Blockchain technology. To make the system even more secure, instead of relying on traditional two-factor authentication, which makes use of SMS, and is prone to hacking attacks, we have enabled biometric authentication, like face-ID recognition, in our mobile application, ensuring that transactions are only approved by users.
Blockchain applications like smart contracts enable us to automate traditionally time-consuming processes. Our ‘financial health score’ algorithm helps us to calculate health score of a business within 30 minutes, we have also included, and automated multiple checks in our system to verify information provided by businesses.
Right from the beginning, we focused on building credibility through thought leadership. We invested heavily in content marketing, social media, press releases, interviews, podcasts, and speaking slots to spread the Finturi story both internally and externally. We were able to pitch our story at some of the biggest events in the industry like the Global SME Finance Forum and Web Summit Lisbon. We got featured in various finance and tech publications across the globe and more importantly, we got tremendous support from the Dutch market specially the incoming interest inquiries from financiers as well as investors.
Regulations and Compliance
At Finturi, we do not only want to open our platform to institutional investors, we also want to give private investors and the crowd the ability to offer financing at a fair return. Doing this requires a license with the AFM. This was by far, one of the most time-consuming steps for us. We completed all necessary documentation and implemented the necessary processes. After multiple discussions with our lawyers and authorities, we got approval from AFM, The Dutch Authority For Financial Markets in Feb 2020 to operate in the Netherlands.
Just a little after we launched our product in the market, came the deadly corona crisis. However, our team was already set up for remote work so working from home was not a problem for us. We did have to make some changes in our health score algorithm to factor in the corona crisis effect. We also limited the loan amount to a maximum of 50,000 euros per month, so that we could serve a maximum number of businesses during these tough times. To make risks reasonable for financiers we accepted customers only via their financial advisors and accountants, so we can get more information about the business situation. We partnered with some great financial advisory and accountancy firms in the Netherlands, did some webinars, and focused more on content marketing to keep our partners and customers informed.
The New Normal
Slowly, things started returning to a new normal. As that happened, we decided to directly accept applications from businesses along with the ones coming through financial advisors and accountants. We started advertisements via various channels to reach business directly, we partnered with affiliates who are helping us reach a larger base of Dutch businesses, we partnered with platforms which help businesses find right options for SME Finance and so on. In a short span of 3 months, we received more than 150 applications for financing, applications from businesses from various sectors like wholesale, manufacturing, retail, consulting, etc.
Here are messages from some of our partners:
“Credion congratulates Finturi on its excellent growth and continued growth into a mature financing party and would like to toast to the future cooperation in the provision of working capital financing to Credion’s customers”, – Edwin ten Cate, Manager Operations, Credion.
“216 Accountants would like to congratulate Finturi on reaching this milestone. As a data-driven accountancy organization, we focus on far-reaching digitization and technology to improve our business model. Finturi offers our customers an innovative way to attract extra working capital through invoice financing. By extensively automating its processes, Finturi can provide customers with money quickly at relatively low costs. This view of Finturi fits perfectly with our vision. We hope to help many more businesses together” – Richard Smid, CEO, 216.
We’ve spent the past two years working to make our vision into a reality, and we’ve loved every second of it. But the best is yet to come. The future of SME Finance is in our hands, let’s shape it together.
If you would like to become a partner, financier or need invoice financing, please write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Finturi HERE