Australian fintech outfit Waddle has closed its second external debt funding round, raising $50 million from a publicly listed investment management firm. The raise brings to an end what the start-up said was an intense nine-month process.
The company, founded by high school mates Simon Creighton, Leigh Dunsford and Nathan Andrews, said it had increased its lending by almost 100 per cent year-on-year, and exceeded initial expectations of $30m in loan volume.
Mr Creighton told The Australian Waddle’s cloud-based software enabled borrowers to close cashflow gaps by automatically tapping into funds locked up in receivables.
“This second tranche of debt is a stepping stone for Waddle,” he said. “Our current funder has the capacity to take us to where we need to be in the next three to five years, allowing us to scale funding without having to keep looking for new debt facilities as we grow.
“This will enable the team to really focus on Waddle’s next stage of growth, which includes building out further automation in credit, operations and user experience; building mobile applications; expediting current enterprise partner solutions and scaling up the development team for our wider global offering.”
He said landing the debt funding round was stressful, but rewarding. The company had a team member dedicated to working on the round for its duration.
“It took three times as long as expected, but we needed to take the time to find the right partner to carry us through,” Mr Creighton said. “It was important that we did not take the cheapest or largest offer, but the one that was the best fit for Waddle’s future plans.
“We’ve learned an enormous amount that will now guide us and prepare us for future raising conversations. We are thrilled to have a sophisticated partner on board that we can now lean on for advice and guidance.”
Mr Creighton’s advice for companies planning on raising capital in the next 12 months is to start networking now, so that investors have time to get to know you and your business.
“You need patience and to understand that the process takes time as you and your potential investors determine if you’re the right fit for each other,” he said.