INDUSTRY USE CASES

PrimeX Connect

PrimeX Connect is an Enterprise B2B SaaS sales platform for red meat. Jointly designed with some of Australia and New Zealands’ largest exporters, PrimeX Connect initially focused on replacing the highly manual sales process with simple, flexible automated workflows for sales teams and their customers. They deliver a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) that global enterprise software companies cannot match on agility, price and speed of implementation. 

Since launching their original product, PrimeX Connect have grown rapidly to meet increasing demand from customers for a turn-key Order Management system that supports the unique manufacturing requirements of the red-meat industry. As they were gaining traction with key customers, funding was running low and a capital raise had to be completed. PrimeX Connect faced a cash flow challenge – at this point, management reached out to Fundsquire for help.

Prime X Connect was founded by Michael Chandler who serves as the current CEO and Jean-Claude Abouchar, the company’s CTO. Michael has built a business fuelled by his mission to maximise the trading potential and ease of global agribusiness. Across a diverse career, which includes Colonial First State, the DTCC and Bloomberg, there is one thread that ties it all together – a commitment to growing businesses, growing online communities of buyers and sellers while making the process more efficient. Jean-Claude is a veteran of the start-up and technology space whilst also working with Executive teams from market dominant brands such as R.M. Williams, Diageo, Samsung, Fairfax and St George Bank to provide marketing, innovation, and digital transformation services. He has extensive experience in building and designing marketplace technology platforms, 3PL logistics, financial services software, and mobile-first products.

“Traditional funding facilities like bank finance are very onerous, require heavy personal guarantees and a lot of assets, which early-stage companies don’t generally have.“

Why Fundsquire? 

The concept of R&D finance was not new to Jean-Claude, as he had been active in the startup space for a number of years and was familiar with it as a tool for cash flow finance.

Working with other founders he learned that this instrument is a great way of funding early-stage, innovative businesses without a lot of assets, though he had never used it before personally. 

“Our R&D advisors recommended Fundsquire and a couple of other R&D Financing companies. We actually completed due diligence with Fundsquire and the other providers and did calls with two of their previous customers before making a decision to go with Fundsquire. We had such great feedback from early-stage founders like ourselves about their experience with Fundsquire which is one of the key reasons we decided to go ahead with them. Our trust was in part based on the great experience that the other customers have had.”

The MVP.

Prime X Connect have accessed various types of funding throughout the development of their product, making use of all available sources, like convertible debt and government grants:  

“Initially, seed funding for the business was accessed through a convertible loan, and then that was matched with grants from the government. That’s how we funded the first MVP for the product. We did a second round via a convertible note, and that helped get us to market with the first commercial version of the product, and helped us hire the initial team. That gave us about a year’s runway.”

When asked why they did not access other, more “classical” types of business finance, like bank finance, Michael said:  “Traditional funding facilities like bank finance are very onerous, require heavy personal guarantees, require a lot of assets, which early-stage companies don’t generally have. So it’s a far more time-consuming and painful process to secure funding from a bank, and early-stage venture capital funds in Australia are limited.“

“I think in this early stage or startup space, one thing that’s very expensive is time. So when you look at the cost of either losing momentum or having to say no to customers, that has a measurable impact on the value of the business. This inevitably happens if you have no choice but to focus 100% on securing investment.”

Bridging the funding gap.

VC funding made sense for the long term aspirations of the business but could take a long time to materialise. “When we started looking at doing our first equity raise it took quite a long time to set up. At that point in time, we approached Fundsquire and looked at the opportunity to use our R&D investment as bridge financing to get us enough runway to go ahead and close our equity round. We also wanted to continue growing the business, add more headcount, and build out some more of the features of the product.”

Though the company had qualified for Fundsquire R&D Finance, time wasn’t yet ripe for collaboration. As the company was already in an advanced stage of negotiations on their equity round when they engaged Fundsquire, the funds came in early and there was no need for R&D financing at that stage. Even though the company didn’t require the facility at that point, the basis for trust was set. 

“It was such a great experience that we knew that we’d probably come back to that as an option in the following year if we needed to do another round based on the growth of the business.” 

“We reapplied for financing with Fundsquire. Again we were approved, this time for a larger amount. We only drew down an initial amount to cover us off for a three-month period. We had the great flexibility of being able to go back and within a period of three or four days, draw down additional financing from our application later on.” 

A long term partnership.

After their first equity round, Prime X Connect managed to grow rapidly and expand its user base significantly, so the company needed another cash injection to leverage that early success and scale. 

“Fast forward nine months after that equity round, we were getting a lot of traction with the product and needed to add more headcount. But the market environment changed a lot. It was a lot more difficult to get early-stage funding. So we knew that it was going to take us probably at least six months to be able to secure investment.”

Six months was a long time to wait for a company that was seeing great early results and was creating a lot of value for their initial user base. The iron was hot, and it was time to strike. R&D Advance Funding proved to be a great solution to support Prime X Connect’s scaling efforts. 

“We reapplied for financing with Fundsquire. Again we were approved, this time for a larger amount. We only drew down an initial amount to cover us off for a three-month period.” 

As their next equity funding round ended up taking longer than expected, the company made use of the flexibility to draw down more of their pre-approved Fundsquire financing. 

“We had the great flexibility of being able to go back and within a period of three or four days, draw down additional financing from our application” 

Prime X Connect recently applied and was successful for their third growth funding facility with Fundsquire. This enabled the team to delay a large equity funding round which means they’ve been able to reduce further dilution to themselves in the short run, while enabling a better valuation once they do choose to raise funds.

The results.

The funding helped Prime X Connect make the most of their success and leverage their early wins to compound growth and expand both the product functionality and the user base. 

“The funding allowed us to continue to grow the business and create value, and increase the value of the business while also working on securing equity funding.”

The most valuable thing that Advance Funding gave the two founders was time, a precious commodity for a fast-growing startup. 

“I think in this early stage or startup space, one thing that’s very expensive is time. So when you look at the cost of either losing momentum or having to say no to customers, that has a measurable impact on the value of the business. This inevitably happens if you have no choice but to focus 100% on securing investment… The benefit of R&D Advance Funding is it allows you to still continue to grow the business with comfort around the fact that you have cash flow covered while you also being able to spend time making sure you find the right investment partners.”

“The funding allowed us to continue to grow the business and create value, and increase the value of the business while also working on securing equity funding.”

The final word.

Their trust in Fundsquire wasn’t misplaced. Like other early-stage founders who benefitted from Fundsquire’s simple process and understanding of the startup ecosystem, Michael and JC were happy with the Advance Funding service.  

“Fundsquire understands early-stage companies, and they understand how critical it is to get decisions quickly and access funding quickly. They’re also very flexible about working with early-stage companies to help support their business.”

Have a question?

No business or path to success and growth is the same. If you have a question, are ready to apply or would like to learn more about Fundsquire, please contact us today.

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