Martin Vercouter, Mahmoud Fathy, Peter Beckman, Sameh El-Ansary, Ahmed Kamal. Photo: Khaled El Adawy / Treyd.
Companies importing products from overseas often need to pay manufacturers upfront, long before they get to sell the goods themselves. For new and growing businesses, having to pay before the money comes in can be a real headache. Their cash flow is not always very strong, banks are not very keen on opening their wallets, and the high-interest rates on unsecured loans are far from attractive.
Sweden-based Treyd wants to help with this by advancing the money needed for imports, and letting the companies pay when they sell their products - in exchange for a transaction fee, of course.
"If importers can pay their suppliers after they sell their inventories, then there is no limit to how fast they can grow," says co-founder Peter Beckman.
Peter Beckman himself has a long experience of international trade and investments, and founded Treyd together with Sameh El Ansary, who has a background from companies such as Hive Streaming and Racefox.
At present, Treyd works with around 30 high-growth companies in the range of SEK 10-200 million in sales. Treyd has developed an automated solution that is based on an algorithm for risk assessment, which means that each individual assessment is significantly faster and cheaper than if it were done manually.
The company calculates the customers' import limit and lets them upload their orders or invoices, makes sure the goods are inspected for quality, and pays the seller when they are shipped.
The company is now filling its coffers with SEK 15 million from investors such as J12 Ventures and Antler. Currently serving Swedish companies only, Treyd is already eyeing an expansion into the wider European market for digital industries.
As Treyd finances other companies' expenses - so does someone need to finance them as well. The solution has been to collaborate with credit market companies and partners such as Savelend and Billecta.
“We have had an excessive demand and had to say no to far too many customers. In the beginning, it was difficult for us to access credit, but now we have several partnerships with credit partners and much greater capacity. ”
Last year (Treyd was launched in the summer of 2020), sales landed at SEK 8.6 million. After that, it all went very fast and in July alone, sales reached SEK 9 million. Most of that revenue is passed on to partners, a few hundred thousand Swedish kronor a month remains in its own coffers, and the company expects higher margins as volumes increase.
“We are not able to scale as fast as we would like, but right now we grow at least tenfold on an annual basis. We are also starting to help larger customers, which will drive a lot of growth ", says Peter Beckman.
There is, of course, a certain risk in the business model, and if the customers start to lag behind with repayments, interest is added. Recently, with global supply chains disrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic and the stop in the Suez Canal, Treyd has extended customers' payment times so they would have more time to sell their goods.
"In the end, of course, you have to pay for the goods you buy, but the whole idea of Treyd is to make it easier to grow and we know that the journey is not always straightforward," says Peter Beckman.
One year on from launch, the platform has already financed transactions worth SEK 45 million and expects to pass SEK 100 million before the end of the year.
"There is no direct competitor in the Swedish market, but internationally it is a fairly hot area with credit financing for fast-growing companies."