Australian fintech, supply chain technology provider and financier Octet has closed a significant debt market deal with existing partner Westpac and new funder 255 Finance, for an asset-backed securitisation warehouse facility north of $100 million in size. This kind of funding fire power is a boon to Australian organisations in need of capital to succeed, grow and expand beyond our borders.
“This facility will allow Octet to grow its trade, supply chain and receivables finance book and progress our mandate, not only to be a digital challenger bank, but to help our clients manage and finance their entire supply chain,” said CCO, Brett Isenberg.
“This facility is unique for a securitisation, in that it can fund multiple types of facilities, from trade and supply chain to traditional receivable financing in one program. In turn, it enables Octet to further scale our vision of centralising business finance and payments, enabling our clients to do all their business banking and transactions within a single platform,” said Isenberg.
Giving SMEs a fair go
“The current Australian economic climate is serving up more than its fair share of challenges for the SME sector, including the drying up of capital markets due to tighter lending restrictions imposed on our banks,” said Isenberg.
“At the same time, we’re seeing more and more SMEs becoming the import conduit between international suppliers and local large corporates or institutions,” he said.
Australian SMEs are stretched financially, both as buyers and sellers along the supply chain. That’s why Octet’s platform offers both buyer-centric funding and seller-centric funding, plus supply chain management and transactional features to suit their needs. For example, suppliers experience the platform in a familiar language; buyers have access to a powerful digital wallet allowing them to use their own funds being bank or credit card; or Octet funding in several flavours including a revolving line of credit, sellers have a facility against their sales or accounts receivables against which they can draw to aid their cash flow.
“We are proud to be working with two highly respected institutions, Westpac and 255 Finance, as they work through us to show their support for Australian organisations that may otherwise feel ignored or under-served by traditional lenders. This extra funding capacity is a major step forward to help Octet trade-enable businesses across the country,” said Michael Rom, COO.
Shannon Melbourne of Westpac Institutional Bank said, “We are pleased to be working with Octet and backing its vision of enabling SMEs to fund and manage their entire supply chain in one place. This facility further demonstrates the capability of Westpac and its strengthened views on financing the supply chain.”
Keith Rodwell of 255 Finance said, “We are pleased to be a major party in this financing arrangement. We are excited to support businesses such as Octet who have a shared vision of driving unique financial products in the market and giving more choice to Australian businesses.”
“This financial backing, in conjunction with Octet’s supply chain finance technology, gives us the ability to further scale our vision of centralising business finance and payments. Supply chain financing will reshape the SME finance landscape due to the obvious cash flow benefits it delivers,” said Isenberg.
Experience and vision
CEO of Octet, Clive Isenberg founded Scottish Pacific Business Finance in 1988, the country’s largest cash flow financier – currently in the midst of a $630 million takeover by private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners.
There, he initiated the first receivables securitisation program in the 1990s. In 2000, Isenberg sold Scottish Pacific to St George Bank, where he stayed until 2005, amalgamating it with St George’s Business Finance division.
In 2009 he founded Octet, which started life as a platform as a service provider focused on providing supply chain financing platforms to global banks. In 2016, after successfully white-labeling its platform to 11 global banks, Isenberg decided it was time to deploy Octet’s own technology to build a digital challenger finance and payments provider, focused on enabling local SMEs to finance and centralise their supply chain.
Sydney-based Octet has more than 50 staff across four offices in Australia and two in China, and currently transacts in 72 countries.
Octet has extended more than $2 billion in funding to small- and medium-sized businesses. Its supply chain finance technology platform not only provides access to financing, but also highly competitive foreign exchange rates, a centralised funding wallet, and a business management tool that previously only large organisations could afford.