Startup Spotlight: Avrium Ltd
Welcoming Avrium to FinTech Connect!
Twitter Handle: @avriumltd
Bhairav Patel, CEO
Jenny Tsaliki, CPO
Alan Moody, Chairman
Founded: May 2018, Edinburgh
Tell us about yourself: Avrium is an all-in-one cash flow management platform that provides businesses with a range of tools and services to reduce the risk of late payment, plug gaps in working capital and make better commercial decisions. By connecting directly into a business’s online accounting package we are able to warn of cash flow issues before they occur and provide intelligent financing solutions to cover shortfalls that may arise.
What is your advice to people seeking to kickstart their own business?
Make sure you test the market before spending resources on building a product. We conducted a number of surveys to ask small businesses what their pain points were and what solutions they were looking for in the market and based on that we developed our solution accordingly. We adapted and changed some of our original thinking once we talked to a sizeable portion of our target market. An idea, however, is not a business and we also spent some time building our business model canvas and go-to-market strategy and used the business strategy to develop our tech strategy and then found the right partners to help us develop all aspects of the business where we didn’t have the internal skills to hand.
Do you have customers yet? If not, how far into your business lifecycle are you?
We launched the platform in February 2019 and have already signed up paying customers. We still have a long way to go but we are confident that SMEs will see the value of our platform in its ability to give business owners peace of mind and help them take control over their payables and receivables. We very much recognise the challenges of operating in the SME market and have a number of different go-to-market strategies and we are focused on reaching out to SMEs and strategic partners that work with businesses to help them through their cash flow issues i.e. accountants, brokers, funders etc
Why did you choose FinTech Connect?: Having attended FinTech Connect for the past 3 years as an attendee, we have seen the event grow and believe that it is the perfect launchpad for our business given its stature as a premier event within the FinTech community.
How have you funded your growth to date?
We have received seed funding from Atom Ventures and through our participation in Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Ventures we have a received financial aid to boost our growth and solidify our go-to-market plan
What's your 'origin story'?
We are an award winning team that previously worked for a Forbes Fintech 50 business specialising in supply chain finance. Whilst working at that business we were acutely aware of the issues faced by businesses due to late payments and we wanted to create a business that was focused on helping SMEs take action to reduce the risks of late payment. At our previous company the focus was much more on investors and funders and we felt that there was a space in the market for a company that was looking to deliver real value to small business owners struggling to grow their businesses whilst chasing payments. We developed the platform with the aid of Atom Ventures as part of their “Atom Labs” and we went from concept -> build -> launch within the space of 8 months
What are your predictions for the next 18 months in FinTech?
FinTech encompasses a wide range of different businesses, all doing very exciting work and what is exciting is that we are seeing companies moving from FinTech into GovTech, InsureTech and vice versa. Due to the fact that fintech solutions can be applied to such a wide range of industry verticals and sectors our hope is that FinTech will finally become just “Tech” and as such will become part of the fabric of all modern businesses. As awareness and adoption of strategic solutions grows, companies and individuals should find that FinTech becomes a part of every day life.
What are your goals for the next 18 months?
Our goals over the next 18 months is to expand the range of financial and insurance products we can offer small businesses. We are looking to build a commercially viable customer base with our long term aim being to build a competitive marketplace where businesses can gain the financing they need, when they need it and at a price that is affordable and won’t put unnecessary burdens on our customers whilst they are looking to grow and expand. We are also putting significant resources into machine learning and artificial intelligence so our platform can be proactive in helping businesses predict cash flow and commercial risks. Through our ties in Scotland we will be working with the Universities and other academic institutions there to leverage the best minds Europe has available in this space. We will be seeking investment in the coming months to build out our AI component and look to take our offering into the North American market.
What is your greatest achievement as business thus far?
We’re proud of so many of our accomplishments from being accepted onto Scottish Enterprise’s High Growth Ventures programme, participation in RBS’s FinTech Accelerator, presenting a 60 second spotlight pitch at Scotland’s largest investor event – EIE. In addition to this we are honoured to be partnering with large multi-nationals such as Atradius, CreditSafe, Accelerated Payments, Xero and QuickBooks to offer a range of services to our clients. We’ve done a great deal in a short time and we will continue to power on to help SMEs take control over their working capital risks
Why should our community come and meet you at the show?
We’re a fun bunch of people! We are continually looking for solutions that can help SMEs secure their business financially. 50,000 businesses a year and many of these companies are good, solid businesses that fail due to their suppliers paying them late, traditional financing taking too long and being too bureaucratic. If there is anyone within the community that has solutions geared towards helping small businesses we’d love to meet them