SMEs with large clients often have to wait between 30 and 90 days for payment. Its service lets them unlock those funds early, freeing up valuable working capital. The businesses that use MarketInvoice are among the fastest-growing in the UK, and the finance that it provides means that they are free to take on big contracts, hire new staff and ramp up marketing efforts.
The company has now funded over a hundred and 110 million pounds worth of invoices and in August last year the UK government began investing in SME invoices through the platform to the tune of 40 million pounds a year.
What is the best thing about running your own business?
Working on something I'm passionate about. I started MarketInvoice with two university friends. We were fascinated by the way the internet can make markets more efficient and having worked in finance for a few years, we were acutely aware of the difficulty SMEs were having with both a lack of bank finance and the lengthening payment terms of their customers.
I truly believe that the business financing landscape will look very different in 5-10 years, and it's very satisfying to build something that we all believe will play a big part in that.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Starting up the business was tough and we were expending a huge amount of effort for what appeared to be little reward. The great advice I got at the time was to never give up on a good idea and to persevere. Every business goes through tough times but it is important to stay focused. Ultimately, the hard work will pay off.
How do you make contacts that can be useful for business?
I go to a lot of events and am often invited to speak about access to finance and entrepreneurship. Despite being an online business, it's still vitally important for us to go out and meet partners and prospects face-to-face. The web cannot replace face-to-face interaction. What it can do though is offer fantastic tools for keeping track and following up on these interactions. LinkedIn is great for this.
Tell us one tip that could prove valuable in life and business?
According to Ronald Cohen, 'Start young, think big, and stick with it'.
How has technology changed your business?
MarketInvoice is a true internet business in that what we do could not exist without the web. Our business is a blend of finance and tech. Our focus is on using the latter to radically improve the former.
What made you join the Forum and what is the best thing about being a member?
The Forum provides an invaluable source of support and advice, particularly for new businesses and the entrepreneurs behind them. The connected world we live in gives SME owners fantastic opportunity for collaboration and cross-support. The Forum can act as a facilitator for this and I look forward to engaging with it and my fellow members in the year ahead.