We helped smartwatch firm Techsixtyfour get the trade finance they needed to buy stock from an overseas supplier
Mother-of-two Colleen founded Techsixtyfour after a trip to a UK farm with her kids, where she saw another mum trying to find her lost little boy. Colleen wanted to find a way to stay connected with her children, but without giving them a smartphone and all the distractions that come with it. She had the idea for a wearable mobile phone, and My Gator Watch was born.
With the product idea and some savings, Colleen decided to give it a go, and the first Gator watch was sold in April 2016. By March the following year, the new company had landed John Lewis as a buyer and needed to ramp up production significantly — but didn’t have enough cash to buy the stock before getting paid.
Colleen went to her bank but was told they couldn’t offer trade finance to companies with less than £2 million annual turnover. She also approached a peer-to-peer lender and angel investors, but none were the right fit for her new company’s situation.
While researching trade finance, Colleen came across Funding Options, and gave us a call to see if we could help. We found her a lender willing to offer the amount she needed to buy stock from her Chinese supplier, so she could get the order moving and cement the relationship with an important new buyer.
One of the benefits of trade finance is that it is based on purchase orders, so although the business hadn’t been trading long, Colleen was able to raise funding because she had a confirmed order from a well-established customer.
With a trade finance facility in place, Colleen could fulfil the exciting new order, without worrying about being out of pocket for months at a time. Since then, the My Gator Watch team has grown rapidly as a result of a successful crowdfunding campaign, and the Gator Watch is selling well.
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"Getting this funding quickly has really helped in a time of need, and now I’m interviewing for staff with the new forklift truck already in place. To buy this equipment urgently, I was in the corner, and it was a real blessing to have the alternative - it was a pleasure dealing with Funding Options."
The additional funds meant Aziz could keep his business open, pay his rates and bring back his staff gradually. More importantly, it allowed him to expand his successful business online.