A new specialty lending company called EasyTech Finance is promising to help start-ups without trading histories secure much-needed funds, but insists it’s not a venture capital firm.
EasyTech Finance is part of the EasyBiz group, a business lending specialist with more than 900 Australian SME customers and $350 million under management.
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The EasyTech team, led by Matt Maley, is a combination of chartered accountants and IT professionals. It was launched in September 2012, while EasyBiz has been operating since 2011.
Maley is quick to point out EasyTech is not a venture capital firm.
“We source funds from more than 30 lenders, locally and overseas, which provides us greater flexibility in financing IT companies, online agencies and start-ups,” he told StartupSmart.
“We tend to lend where most banks and others won’t.”
This includes start-ups without a trading history, IT companies that may have a poor trading record, and digital and online agencies – traditionally a no-go sector for banks.
For a small establishment fee, EasyTech will help arrange loans from $250,000 to $15 million. According to Maley, EasyTech plans to lend up to $1.2 billion in the next three years.
“What we’re seeing in the general SME space, whether it be a micro brewery or any sort of business, the banks post GFC just got even tighter with lending to small business,” Maley says.
“We started to fund… successfully into that space. Halfway through last year, we decided to turn our attention onto IT and the technology space.
“Our value is we look at the business and present it to a number of lenders, and tell the story to those lenders.
“The owner of the business… [usually approaches] one lender, cap in hand, or two lenders at best and gives up. We take a deeper involvement in the business and write submissions to a number of lenders.”
Maley says while there’s plenty of hype around venture capital, there isn’t necessarily a lot on offer.
“There seems to be more VCs than opportunities in Australia at the moment. A lot of great ideas are being developed and [securing funds from] a VC is great to a point,” he says.
“Then they’d go and talk to a bank, or a number of organisations, and get rejected because the bank didn’t understand what they were doing, they were too young, etc.”
“[We can help businesses that] maybe have some seed capital, and be up and operational… Our support of these businesses is roughly about three years.
“Then they’re in a position to go to one of the big four banks.”