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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"The additional funds and time away from work meant Tim and his team could spend more time focusing on scaling the business."
Expert Property Group specialises in property improvement, from repairs and maintenance to ground-up construction projects. With a team based in Hertfordshire, the firm has clients including housing associations, insurance companies and other blue chip businesses, helping them keep their properties in good working order for residents.