Carbyne Capital plots growth path for 2024
Fresh from announcing the roll-out of a new platform in January to proliferate its factor financing services, Carbyne Capital Investments Limited is plotting its expansion both in footprint and in service offerings in the upcoming year.
The company began operations in 2016 offering working capital financing to farmers supplying produce to both the tourism and manufacturing sectors. Since then Carbyne Capital has increased its clientÃ¨le to include construction, aggregate, manufacturing, distribution, and information technology companies.
Given the take-up of the service and Carbyne Capital’s ability to respond to market demand, according to co-founder and CEO Rajiv Ebanks, the company is now preparing to offer reverse factoring to its suite of offerings.
With traditional factoring, a company can offer their unpaid invoices to a financial institution that pays between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of the amount upfront while waiting to recoup those funds. On the other hand, reverse factoring, also known as supply chain financing, sees the a company applying for financing of its inventory supplies, with the financial institution paying upfront for the supplies and collecting at a future date.
“We are looking at the opportunities for reverse factoring; we know there is a demand for it,” he told the Jamaica Observer, adding, “We’ll be rolling that out around Q2 2024, so we’ll be making more noise about that product when we launch it.”
The CEO pointed out that the company witnessed “quite a big [upturn] in demand in Q3 and Q4” of 2024 as more businesses realise gaps in the traditional financing space and become aware of alternative financing options, thus generating more demand for factoring and reverse factoring facilities. On this note he shared that there was another opportunity for reverse factor financing that both he and co-founder Martin Nesbeth, who is Carbyne Capital’s chief financial officer, had identified.
“A lot of local companies do business with companies that operate out of the US. The US companies don’t really give favourable credit terms to Caribbean purchasers, so that’s another huge opportunity that we’re looking at. So you’ll be hearing more about that as we complete the market assessment towards the end of next year,” Ebanks revealed.
That market assessment he referred to, as with the company’s online platform Experience Carbyne, will be funded by the Development Bank of Jamaica through its Innovation Grant Fund.
With the online platform set to go live at the end of January, Carbyne Capital plans to continue growing its footprint with “very little brick and mortar outlay”, Ebanks told Business Observer.
“We’re relying heavily on technology,” he said, adding that the company employs a full-time staff complement of five along with a team of commissioned sales agents to drive revenue.
While tight-lipped on the company’s financial performance, citing competitive reasons, Ebanks noted that the company is still relatively young and factor financing is still a new product. He, however, boasted that Carbyne Capital has covered “practically every growth sector in the local economy”, and that the company is still learning about the unique challenges of each sector in order to meet the demand.
Still, the company is also looking for opportunities regionally to pioneer factor financing in markets where the service is absent.
“We know there is a financing gap not just locally but regionally. We have no doubts that we’ll be able to provide factoring services to companies in need,” Ebanks stated.
“We’ve actually already started exploring opportunities of expanding more into the oil and gas sector, and when we went into Guyana we realised that their financial sector is was not as developed as Jamaica’s, so there was huge financing gap in the supply chain with local companies trying to supply some of the large multinationals like ExxonMobil. These companies are coming in with [certain] credit terms and the smaller companies in Guyana are struggling to meet those credit terms. So we’re looking at oil and gas expansion and seeing how best to take on the Guyanese market,” he added.
But with Venezuela staking its claim to the Essequibo region of Guyana, which accounts for most of the Caricom member state’s oil discoveries, the Carbyne Capital executive is remaining cautious and indicated that the company will continue to monitor the situation.
“We continue to monitor the situation given the volatility that’s happening there, but we’re still looking at Guyana,” he said.
When asked how the company has been able to scale to meet demand, Ebanks disclosed that, in addition to stakeholder investment, the company has been able to raise new capital through debt.
“VM had raised some debt financing for us towards Q3 of this year and we’ve been able to deploy some of that capital and use it for new clients and those that are actually scaling up because of the factor financing. They really helped us out when we were getting quite a big [upturn] in demand in Q3 and Q4,” he told Business Observer.
Looking ahead, Carbyne Capital will continue to focus on its niche with the aim of becoming the “partner of choice for factor financing”.