Carbyne Capital to disrupt factor finance market with new platform
Alternative financing institution Carbyne Capital Investments is planning to disrupt the factor financing market with its proprietary online platform called Experience Carbyne, which will be accessible to businesses come the end of January 2024.
The new platform was unboxed at a soft launch held Tuesday evening at Hope Gardens in St Andrew, where co-founders Rajiv Ebanks and Martin Nesbeth provided a live demonstration of how the platform is used to effect factor financing for its clients.
Factoring is a complete financial package that combines working capital financing, credit risk protection and accounts receivable book-keeping. It is offered under an agreement between the so-called ‘factor’ and a seller.
With the Carbyne Experience clients will be able to interface in real time with company representatives while uploading their documents and beginning the application process. Its purpose: improve access, provide convenience, and forge connections with clients.
“What this platform will do is that it supports the KYC [know your customer], the onboarding, and the due diligence of each of our clients. It really makes the onboarding process seamless and easy to use for Carbyne clients,” Ebanks, who is the chief executive officer of the financing entity, explained.
The Carbyne Experience will allow each client to be assessed and approved for financing using multi-layered risk parameters including the sector in which each client operates in. While clients may use desktops and laptops to complete the application and mandatory document submission processes, the platform is also mobile-responsive — allowing users to carry to complete the same processes with a cellphone or tablet.
Upon completion of the application and document uploads, clients will have to wait for up to 48 hours for a notification e-mail of the approval of their requests for credit. Once approved, they can track their accounts in real time using the Carbyne Experience.
“Every couple years there’s an innovative product that will hit the market. What this product is, is really the work and effort that we put in over the past seven years to understand the different market segments that exist in Jamaica. What we realised is every sector is unique, every sector has its own challenges and really the cookie-cutter approach that exists traditionally hasn’t worked, so we filled that gap,” the CEO told those attending the launch.
With the financial backing of the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) through the Innovative Grant Fund amounting to $20 million, Carbyne Capital hired software development teams in North America and the United Kingdom to create the new platform. At present the company is now in the process of beta-testing the solution with an information technology team in Jamaica ensuring there are little to no glitches or bugs once it goes live at the end of January.
Commenting on the DBJ’s input, Christopher Brown, programme manager for the Boosting Innovation, Growth and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems, said, “The grant we have provided is to develop a technology solution to support the expansion of factor financing for MSMEs [micro, small and medium-sized enterprises] and further strengthen the growth of supply chains in Jamaica and regionally. The technology solution will also support the streamlining of internal processes to ensure Carbyne can efficiently manage client on-boarding activities while ensuring client account data is properly managed, updated, and communicated.”
Commending the efforts of the company’s co-founders, Carbyne Capital Chairman Marc Ramsay noted that the new interface is a reflection of their commitment to innovating in a rapidly growing economy while meeting the needs of their clients. He added that while Ebanks and Nesbeth were quietly building the company, “they were building three Ps: prudence, process and propriety”.
“Carbyne found a problem and they solved it elegantly…I’ve met several clients of Carbyne here tonight. Some, they’ve grown so much that they need Carbyne more and more, to the point where I am sure that within a couple months people won’t be saying, ‘I’d like to factor an invoice.’ They’ll be saying, ‘I want to Carbyne it!'” Ramsay stated.
Highlighting that the company did not go for off-the-shelf software to improve customer interface, the chairman pointed out that Carbyne Capital should serve as an example for other Jamaican businesses to build their own software.
Ramsay, who is also the founder of law firm Ramsay & Partners, pointed out that the Carbyne Experience platform is also “future-proofed” with protocols to meet the compliance requirement of the Data Protection Act.
Considered an emerging player in Jamaica’s alternative financing industry, Carbyne Capital was founded in 2016, starting out by offering receivables-based financing to farmers supplying the hospitality sector. Today the company has grown to serve clients from a diverse range of sectors.
“…when we started, we saw an inefficiency in the market. We started in the fields. The idea was given birth on a farm. We started buying invoices from farmers,” Nesbeth, who is also the company’s chief financial officer, recounted.
“We realised that there was greater need for solutions of this nature in other industries. On a simple Friday afternoon, we decided to apply the solution to other sectors. So we moved into construction and mining — bauxite is a big player — brought the model to manufacturing, road infrastructure, services, IT and a little bit of government,” he continued.
With the introduction of the Carbyne Experience the company will provide a revolving facility that allows the client access to more funding once they have repaid on their balance.
“What we have noticed is that a lot of the clients that we work with, they may start out with a limit of $1 million or $5 million and in no time they’re able to scale up their businesses quite significantly. So these initial limits come under review quite regularly as [the businesses] grab new markets, pay staff on time, and purchase raw material,” Ebanks explained.
Looking ahead, the co-founders have indicated plans to integrate enterprise resource planning software and accounts payable systems to enable clients to track their portfolio and payments to Carbyne Capital.
There’s a whole other backend feature that we’ll share with key stakeholders. But what it really provides is a lot of real-time data on all the sectors that we work in. It enables us to have an excellent working relationship with our clients; we’re able to support [them] as they expand their businesses and as they seek to enter new markets,” Ebanks revealed.