Credit checks as fuel for a financial growth engine.
Frederik Wegener Sleeswijk, general manager of NL-Fund, talks about his work as manager of two financing funds for ICT companies, the rise of 'servitisation' and the importance of credit checks within that entire process.
Pre-financing of ICT cash flow
Frederik Wegener Sleeswijk is co-founder of NL-Fund, a small company with big ambitions. It manages two financing funds, which in turn are financed by banks and an insurance company. The final goal?
“ICT sellers, such as printer providers or Wi-Fi suppliers, knock on our door when their customers subscribe to their services. We help to finance their procurement, implementation and preparation costs so they can grow without running into cash flow problems.”
“On average, we fund two-thirds of the planned cash flow in advance. This allows the provider to pay its people and expenses. We also call ourselves a growth engine, because companies can make commercial decisions without putting the brakes on. It is possible to conclude unlimited new contracts and still monitor cash flow.”
A fund manager's extensive customer base
“Every vendor request starts with a credit check via Graydon. After all, we have agreements with our own financiers about the composition of our portfolio. This must be spread over various sectors and customers of different sizes. We get that information neatly from Graydon.”
“We actually check the customers of our customers, about nine thousand of them. And these form a cross-section of the Dutch economy: 50% (semi-)government services, hospitals, schools, etc. and 50% SME entrepreneurs in all possible sectors and regions.”
“The good news: the services we fund are mission-critical services. They are services that are necessary for organisations and that they will not save on quickly. Just think of WiFi routers and telephone or fibre contracts.”
“The services we finance are necessary. If they drop out, the staff can go home. After all, today it is impossible to work without ICT services such as Wi-Fi or telephony.”
The rise of the service economy
“America and the United Kingdom are already well ahead in the enormously growing development of 'servitisation', but now things are starting to pick up here too. And that is exactly what we are counting on.”
“Servitisation, in short, is the evolution from ownership to services. Private individuals and companies no longer need to be owners, but want to 'rent' services for a monthly fee. That shift from investments to operational costs – from CAPEX to OPEX – started with printers and copiers decades ago, but is expanding.”
“We see an evolution from the 'classic' economy to a service economy. Credit checks are very important in this regard.”
Satisfied with the user-friendly rating from Graydon
“My business partner and I also worked with Graydon at ING, so we have built up a relationship of more than 20 years. But that is certainly not the main reason why we continue to choose Graydon.”
“For us, the great advantage of Graydon lies in their pleasant rating system. There are some other providers on the market, but they do not have such a fast and user-friendly system. Combine that with an account manager who dares to think along with us thoroughly, always with quick answers to our questions and proactive reports about our customers. They are all reasons to be satisfied.”
“We are intensive Graydon users, but I expect that Graydon can do much more for us than we realise now – especially during our plans to expand abroad.”
NL-Fund in brief
GROWTH ENGINE for ICT companies in the Netherlands.
PROVIDES FUNDING to monitor the cash flow of ICT companies and ensure their mission-critical services.
INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION is planned.
ADVANTAGES: Pre-financing construction similar to leasing, on average two-thirds of the cash flow prearranged.