Ageras want to make banking easier, without becoming one
Their latest offering of business loans take Ageras one step closer to becoming the ultimate financial cockpit for companies. The fintech conglomerate Ageras Group aims to provide small to medium-sized companies with complete financial assistance. Their latest offering: business loans and invoice financing.
Accounting and bookkeeping should be as smooth as possible for business owners. This has always been the goal for Ageras, who “match” businesses with the right accountant for their needs, as well as providing software for accounting and payroll—all intended to make life easier for small to medium-sized companies.
Recently, the fintech group took its next step towards becoming the ultimate financial cockpit. Now authorised as a lending firm by The Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanstilsynet), Ageras is able to offer business loans and invoice financing, which its customers can access directly through the company’s existing programs, including Billy and Tellow.
“Invoice financing is useful for small companies who need to be paid immediately after sending an invoice. For example, if you’re a craftsperson and you send an invoice with a due date in one month, but you need the money sooner to buy materials and pay wages, we can loan you the amount you will receive from the invoice, almost immediately,” explains Martin Hegelund, CMO and co-founder of Ageras Group.
Know the customer
Although it might seem as if Ageras, with their ever-expanding offering of financial services, are only a few steps away from becoming an actual bank, that isn’t the company’s intention. Ageras only wants to provide the kind of services they believe they can do better than traditional banks, simply because they know their customers so well.
“Applying for an ordinary loan from a bank is a long process. You have to gather a lot of documentation, which is impractical if you need the money in your account sooner rather than later. We know that business owners are short on time; they need fast and efficient solutions. And because we already have a relationship with our customers, we are able to make the process much simpler,” says Hegelund.
Companies can now apply for a loan via Ageras without having to provide documentation of accounts and budgets. This is because Ageras already has good documentation of their customers’ financial reliability from the accounting software they use, making it easy to estimate a customer’s credit rating, based on 30 – 40 different factors.
“We’re familiar with our customers’ accounts and we can also see their billing history with the invoice recipient and note, for example, how likely they are to pay the invoice on time. With this information, we can offer very attractive terms,” says Hegeland, adding that (so far) the record for the shortest time to get a loan is 6 hours.
Risk management, taken care of
The data Ageras has access to allows the company to quickly and accurately assess the risks involved in any loan. And because the process is so smooth, they are sometimes able to provide loans for businesses who wouldn’t otherwise be able to get a bank loan.
“As a business owner, you’re not necessarily a bad borrower or a high risk customer just because the bank says no. It might just be because the size of the loan is so small, it doesn’t make sense for the bank to process it. But because we already have the data, it makes sense for us,” Hegelund explains.
This doesn’t mean that everyone can get a loan. Ageras still need to evaluate whether they should actually finance the loan for the customer in question, but customer knowledge and intelligent software makes it a lot easier for them to do so. It’s a question of whether the loan will help the customer to grow their business.
“At the end of the day, running out of money is what kills a business. Whilst our accounting software makes sure that you comply with VAT and accounting rules, it’s equally important that we have an overview of your cash balance, so that you only take out a loan if it can boost your business in the right direction,” says Hegelund.