This week on FinTech Profile, we are joined by Paul Haydock from DueCourse. Due Course is a cash flow utility, allowing SMEs to access unpaid invoice funds.
Our questions are in bold.
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Who are you and what’s your background?
I, Paul, am originally from Bolton and graduated with a first degree in engineering from the University of Cambridge. Myself and my co-founders all owned small businesses of our own and all had trouble with cash flow. The banks weren’t very helpful and existing finance products weren’t quite good enough. This led us into the fintech industry as we decided to start DueCourse to solve this cash flow problem with technology.
What is your job title and what are your general responsibilities?
My title is CEO, and my responsibilities are quite varied. I am responsible for strategy, hiring the best people and product development as well as raising funding to help the company meet its objective and become a market leader.
Can you give us an overview of your business?
In a nutshell, DueCourse lets small businesses access the funds in their unpaid invoices whenever they like and in just a few minutes. The service therefore empowers small business owners, giving them access to their money and the ability to spend this where it is needed within the company.
Tell us how you are funded.
We’ve raised two rounds of angel capital so far. The first round was back in 2014 and the second was this year (2016), with funding coming from the founders and investors of the likes of Zoopla, LoveFilm and LinkedIn.
Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?
We felt that small businesses were being under-served by the banks who don’t really care too much about SMEs as they make very little money off them. Cash flow products for SMEs are also not great historically, so we wanted to solve both of the above problems with our technology. With our service, SME owners actually have cash in the bank where it’s needed, rather than locked in an invoice.
Who are your target customers? What’s your revenue model?
Our target customers are predominantly SMEs who send invoices to other businesses. These SMEs generally turnover less than £5 million, employ fewer than 20 people and are less than 15 years old. Our revenue model is simple –we charge a daily fee from whenever an advance on an invoice is taken and the fees stop when the advance is paid back. That’s it, no on-going subscriptions, it’s just pay-as-you-go.
If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?
I’d get the banks to collaborate more, open up their APIs and start to really work together with the FinTech sector. There’s always going to be a need for banks, but they also need innovative FinTech companies as well. So through collaboration, both parties can offer better services to customers and benefit from this.
What is your message for the larger players in the Finance industry?
Again, definitely open up your APIs and start collaborating more. Working together with the smaller players in the industry to create value for customers is the best thing they can do right now.
What phone are you carrying and why?
I’ve got an iPhone 6s. I dabbled briefly in Android but didn’t like it. The usability and quality of the iPhone is great, so all my stuff is Apple now. I guess you could say I’m hooked!
Where do you get your industry news from?
Publications-wise I keep a close eye on the Financial Times to keep up to date with what’s happening in the industry, but Twitter is also a big source of news for me, so I’m always on there.
Can you list 3 people you rate from the FinTech sector that we should be following on Twitter?
I can only think of a couple, but they are:
Chris Gledhill, @cgledhill, a great speaker, writer and commentator in the FinTech sector who always has something interesting to say.
Gary Turner, @garyturner, co-founder and managing director at Xero UK, one of our incredible partners.
What’s the best FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?
Apart from us, of course… I’d say TransferWise has really impressed me. I recently got married in Italy and we used it extensively for that trip; it was great.
Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?
I’d say, once again, it’s going to be all about the collaboration and hopefully both the FinTech sector and the banks can start pushing some boundaries and doing some very cool stuff in order to bring more value to customers.
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